American 68, New Hampshire 44 Nov 17, 2018 0:02:03 GMT -5
Post by notjuanjones on Nov 17, 2018 0:02:03 GMT -5
Well, we know how New Hampshire feels, don't we?
The Wildcats are playing three freshmen and two sophomore significant minutes after losing all of their senior bigs, and two of their top eight guys were out Friday with injuries. And AU didn't care.
No one cared the last two years about us.
So the Eagles did what an older, more experienced, stronger and deeper team was supposed to do on its home floor--they blew the game open late in the first half and were never headed in the second, leading to an easy win and a 2-1 record going into the Thanksgiving holiday.
AU jumped out to an 11-point lead six minutes into the game, easily attacking UNH's attempts to press full-court, and got the ball inside to Mark or moved it around to open shooters. The Wildcats helped by turning the ball over, I can't remember, eight or 10 times in the half, with traveling their favorite means of ball surrender. When they weren't walking, Sa'eed was jumping their passing lanes for steal after steal. We stretched the lead to 18-6 on a three from Stacey with 12:14 left in the half, but let UNH hang around long enough to cut the deficit to 22-17 on an Elijah Jordan jumper at the 9:23 mark. And the Wildcats were still within 25-20 with 6:50 remaining after a Marque Maultsby three.
But from there, AU turned up the defense, and took control. A free throw from Mark and a three-pointer by Sam began a 20-3 Eagles run to close the half, during which time seven different players in the home white scored. We moved the ball beautifully from strong to weak, found cutters, threw skip passes to the corner--everything worked offensively. UNH wasn't able to get into its offense at hall, and kept kicking the ball away when it did manage to initiate its attack. Meanwhile, Jacob Boonyasith scored five quick points, and Mike was able to actually get Sa'eed some real rest, with Stacy playing well on the ball and hitting a three of his own with 1:17 left in the half, putting AU up 42-23. The lead was 45-23 at the half, and we could have been up by 30.
UNH scored a quick five to open the second, but Sam stopped that with a layup off a nice pass from Mark, and the lead was soon back above 20, with a Sa'eed steal and breakaway layup with 13:10 remaining making it 52-30. AU never was headed afterward, with the lead getting as big as 28. Josh Alexander scored the first points of his college career and looked more than comfortable in the post when Mike sat Mark and YY the last few minutes, posting up twice for scores and finding Stacy on a wraparound pass for an exclamation dunk. Mike was able to keep Sa'eed under 30 minutes--26--for the first time in what seemed like forever. We only had two players--Sa'eed (14 points) and Stacy (12 in 20 minutes)--in double figures. But it didn't matter. We had nine players score, we held UNH to 28 percent (17 of 61) shooting from the floor, and turned them over 15 times. Solid win.
If we stay healthy, this team is not going to finish seventh in the PL.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! On to UMBC!