Friday, February 04, 2005

Hardcourt Disaster...Fitch out, Akron wins 71-69

It was a tale of four quarters. Yes, I know basketball in college is in halfs, but check the story out in quarters for last night's Akron game.

1st Ten Minutes BG 18-10
2nd Ten Minutes AK 16-29
3rd Ten Minutes BG 19-7
4th Ten Minutes AK 25-16

That hurts. Obviously, we played half a game and they played half a game, and they won on the final play, and we lose. That's our fourth straight decided in the final minute. It was deja vu from our last trip to AA, when the Rockets had the same march down the floor to win the game.

Sadly, Akron didn't do what UT did--try a perimeter shot--but tried to dribble penetrate, and it resulted in an uncontested layup. Coach said afterward there were three objectives. Don't let them drive the middle, don't let Joyce go to his right, and don't get split. And the did all three. They basically farted around until it was :04, and then cleared out to put Joyce on Floyd. Joyce faked the corner and went to his right, past Floyd like a pylon. As he drove to the middle, he ran around Almanson, too, and had a wide open layup to win the game.

Hurting just as bad was when John Reimold overthrew a guy on a pass with 1:04 left and a tie game...overthrew him by 20 feet.

We shot about 48.8% for the game, which should be OK. We were hurt be our inability to consistently defend for more than ten minutes a half, and Akron is a decent team that is well coached and attacks the hoop. We made 12 first half TOs, and that let Akron back into the game and let them lead by 5 at the half. For the game, TOs were 19-10.

A few observations. Although Wright had a pretty good game, our guard play is slowly getting poorer. After his big defensive plays against CMU, I don't understand why Robinson isn't guarding Joyce, except that he was cold, but will all the stops, he could have been warmed sometime before that, I would think. Even so, while Floyd and Robinson are exceeding expectations, they are gradually hurting our team a little more each week, and Wright has been inconsistent and slumping. None of them seem to be defending well.

Finally, to conclude a week which saw us fall from first to third, Germaine Fitch will now miss the remainder of the season. The accident in the melee after the Toledo victory reinjured his ACL and will cause him to miss the rest of the season...again. The team will miss him, not in numbers, but in steady play, good defense and leadership. He certainly helps on the press and in the middle. Coach really respects Germaine, and I think it hits everyone's morale when he keeps having this bad luck.

OU game is as must-win as it gets. We simply have to have the win on Monday. We're in a tight bunch playing for home court now, and we have to win at home or its over.

Only about 2,200 in attendance, so a poor crowd.

Its depressing, but on it goes.

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