I hate overtime game like that. So much buildup in regulation and then one team just rolls over in the extra five minutes. Props to the team for playing such a great first 40, though. They really deserved to win. A better last play in regulation or fresh legs and this is a happier post.
The last play in overtime is our base final possession play. Jackson holds until ten seconds and drives to the basket. It's not a terrible idea, just poorly executed. It has worked in the past, so no complaints about the plan. I would just like to see Coach Brey tell Tory to use the drive to setup a pass to Harangody. You need Luke to have the ball in his hands with the game on the line.
I know a lot of people want Brey to use his bench more. I don't buy that fatigue is a factor in tournament play between games (save the BET with 4 games in 4 days or something), but we clearly were dead at the end of this contest. It's a problem that you want to see fixed, but it most likely is not going to change. Still, you don't know if the team even gets to OT with Ty Nash or Carleton Scott on the floor for 5-10 minutes, so it goes both ways.
Kudos to the guys for a hard fought performance. It would have been our first win at Freedom Hall in 50 years. Now we go to the Carrier Dome where we have had some more recent success. All in all, you wish we could have pulled it out, but I am generally more confident about our future chances now than I was a few hours ago We should be solid favorites our second chance against the Cards.
Louisville shut us down with some great defense. This really played out like a second weekend tournament game and we were a basket away from winning. I am encouraged by our ability to hang with a defensive minded team on the road. Last season this game was ugly before Harangody made a couple threes to make the final score look a little more flattering. The biggest fear is that we will run into a Washington State-type squad in March. Seeing our first 40 minutes here and the game against Georgetown, I'm not so scared.
That was the #2 defense in the country today, so putting 71 on the board in regulation is an accomplishment.
Tory Jackson was wild all game. Maybe that last play was more Hillesland's fault than his, but he turned the ball over seven times in the game. A couple possessions he was out of control on the break and foolishly ruined some chances. He did rebound well and pass out six assists, but those mistakes possibly cost us the game.
Kyle McAlarney played very well. 19 points with the chances he got plus 5 assists and 5 rebounds. 7-12 from three point land.
Ryan Ayers gave us 9 points and 6 rebounds. A pretty solid game for him. Hillesland finished with 6 and 5 in 27 minutes. It's a little frustrating to see him with single figures in so many columns, but that's his game.
Luke Harangody did his best. 28 and 13 as he continues to build his case for National Player of the Year. Picking up his fourth on a touch foul hurt a bit. If he could have been more physical in the final couple minutes of regulation, who knows.
Zeller was good off the bench. 7 rebounds to help overcome a very poor shooting night. 1-8 overall. It would have been nice to see him make a couple of those threes, but it is a relief to see the guy finally produce as a rebounder and post defender. He has certainly improved over the course of the year. Peeps didn't show anything in two minutes. Two turnovers and he was yanked for the game.
Tough loss. As I said before, there are no bad wins or good defeats in Big East play. You just need to produce. If a couple things bounce our way, we could have had a very nice looking win. As it is, we're 12-4 going into Syracuse. Knock off the Orange and I'm very confident for our next home contest.