Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday: four game reports + more

The returning champion Aggies opened Thursday against Idaho and New Mexico State led by four, 32-28, at the half. It took a while but Coach Marvin Menzies and his guys gradually pulled away to take the game 65-49, denying Coach Don Verlin his first WAC tourney win. The Vandals did narrow the margin to eight at the 3:30 mark but could get no closer. 

Jason Groves live-tweeted the matchup as did Vandal Nation.

Daniel Mullings shot 10-14 from the floor on his way to a team-leading 24 points. Teammate Bandja Sy posted a solid 14 point/seven rebound effort and center Sim Bhullar finished with 7/7.

For the Potato Staters, Kyle Barone scored 19 points, shooting 8-10 from the floor while nabbing five boards. Connor Hill was also accurate with 14 points on 5-11 shooting. However, Mansa Habeeb, Stephen Madison and Mike McChristian opposited 'en fuego' with a combined 3-17 overall.

The most dramatic contrast: NMSU shot 60%, Idaho 40%. Yes, the Aggies were a paltry 7-16 from the foul line but the Vandals were a frigid 3-19 in long distance attempts.

Tyrone Watson did sit this one out due to an ankle injury.

Aggie athletics and Vandal athletics game report as do Jason Groves and Christian Caple.


Then it was Denver taking on Texas State and yes, there was seismic hoops activity today centered in Nevada -- Las Vegas in particular -- as the final horn sounded with the Bobcats at 72 and the Pioneers with 68. TS led 37-32 after the initial 20 minutes.

If hurricanes and now storms are receiving names, then this one was Earthquake Joel (Wright). The junior forward exploded for 32 points on a remarkably efficient 10 shots (going 9-10) plus 14-16 at the foul line. The Bobcats shot 23-35 overall (13-20 in the first half and 10-15 in the second period), 3-6 from long distance and 23-28 at the foul line. On the other side, Denver was 21-52, 10-28 and 16-18. Sophomore backcourter Brett Olson led with 19 points with fellow backcourter and freshman Jalen Love finishing with 17. Coach Joe Scott's guys finished at 50% shooting in WAC regular season play, holding opponents to 42% so those numbers went haywire.

The most remarkable stat: just three assists on 23 baskets for the victorious Lone Star Staters.

Bobcat athletics and Pioneer athletics game report as does Ross Lancaster/Mile High Mids.


Next, Louisiana Tech and Texas San Antonio took to the court at 6 p.m. and out came a version of "Groundhog Day" with Tuesday night's pair of wins by Texas teams being matched: TSA 73, LT 67. The Bulldogs led 31-29 after the first 20 but Coach Brooks Thompson's crew came back to post a second half 44-36 point differential. Call it a victory via military hardware as senior backcourter Kannon Burrage pounded away with 26 points and 13 rebounds, including 5-8 from three-point range. Michael Hale III contributed 17 points and Jeromie Hill contributed 11 and eight.

Kenneth Smith paced the Bulldogs with 16 points with fellow guard Raheem Appleby adding 11 points (but on 4-17 overall shooting). Noteworthy was Michale Kyser's nine points, eight boards and four blocked shots in 25 minutes of play.

Texas San Antonio shot 46% overall, 54% in the second 20 minutes to just 32% for Louisiana Tech, which at 74, enjoyed 20 more shot attempts. The Bulldogs finished at 8-33 from long distance.  As expected due to the number of missed shots, the Roadrunners won the boards battle 48-35 but finished upside down in turnovers at 6/18. It looks like Coach Mike White's team could not connect enough and got backcourted offensively.

Bulldog athletics and Roadrunner athletics game report as does Roy Lang III.


Closing out the night, Texas Arlington - a two-time winner over the Aggies during the regular season -- met Utah State and burst out to an early lead, finishing the first 20 minutes ahead 40-29. The northern Aggies edged closer but couldn't break through and lost 83-78, thus making it a Texas team trifecta.

Four Mavericks shot well: Kevin Butler at 23 points (8-13), Karol Gruszecki with 17 (4-9 from long distance) and 12 apiece for Jordan Reves (5-6) and Cameron Catlett (5-10). Coach Scott Cross' players shot 31-60 overall, 10-23 from three-point range.

Utah State was paced by Jarred Shaw's 20 points plus nine boards, with Spencer Butterfield right behind at 19/6. Ben Clifford lived past the three-point line, nailing 4-5 on his way to 16 points. TeNale Roland also totaled 16. USU overall shot a blazing 58% at 25-43, including 9-19 from distance. Coach Stew Morrill's team also connected on eight more free throws than the Texans but were guilty of eight more TOs.

Texas State won the points-in-the-paint scrum 34-22 and managed 21 points off turnovers to just six for Utah State.

Kyle Goon live-tweeted the contest.

Maverick athletics game reports as do Jerry Briggs, Mike Sorenson, Kyle Goon and Rhett Wilkinson.



Jerry Brewer talked with Seattle Coach Cameron Dollar after the Redhawks defeat on Wednesday and some brutal self-honesty resulted.

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