Thursday, January 19, 2012

Game 2-2-70: Men's Basketball vs. Cincinnati

What: Men's Basketball vs. Cincinnati
When: Wednesday, January 18, 7:00 PM
Where: Gampel Pavilion
Result: Loss, 70-67

This was my first look in person at a young Huskies team. And for most of the game, we played very poorly. Our team trailed 42-33 at halftime and we were booed off the court. It seemed Kemba Walker couldn't bring the same magic from the stands that he did on the court.

The second half didn't start out much better, and soon the Bearcats were up 48-37. Then Tyler Olander made a layup to cut it to single-digits, and our fortune began to change. Niels Giffey made a three-pointer, and Jeremy Lamb made a layup off a block by Andre Drummond. Lead was down to four - timeout Cincinnati. The Bearcats turned it over leading into the media timeout, and Jeremy Lamb hit a jumper to cut it to a two-point game. But Shabazz Napier missed a three which would have given us the lead. A Yancy Gates layup at the other end brought the lead back up to four, But we managed to go on a 6-0  run to take a 52-50 lead. Stand up Gampel!

This excitement would quickly be deflated, however, by a Dion Dixon three-pointer. A series of back-and-forth buckets gave us a 57-55 lead with 6:35 to go. But it seemed Cincy was doing everything right, including making threes. And Cashmere Wright hit one to put them up by a point. Before we knew it, the 'Cats were on a 10-0 run to go up 65-57 with 2:53 left. It seemed all but over and the fans started heading towards the exits as an irate Jim Calhoun took a time out.

Fortunately, Gampel is poorly designed and most of them were still stuck in the aisles when Shabazz Napier hit two quick threes to cut it to a 66-63 game with 1:04 left. (So that's why they cramped the aisles together...) Dion Dixon missed a jumper and Shabazz got the rebound. He was then fouled on a layup drive and sent to the line for two. He made the first and barely missed the second. 66-64, 22 seconds left. Napier fouled Dixon, who made the first but missed the second. And then it was Shabazz again, making a three to tie the game at 67-67. And the arena went wild. Alas, Sean Kilpatrick made a three with 2.7 second left, appearing to put the Bearcats up for good. But Calhoun called a timeout to set us up for one last chance. Inbounds to Olander, desperation heave, and.... off the front of the rim, just short! Basketball is a game of inches, and a few inches stronger could have meant overtime. But, it didn't.

Not what I wanted to see this team do. I just hope I'm not the bringer of bad luck to the team. Well, it doesn't look like my night class will be canceled at this point, so my next game will be men's ice hockey Saturday night.

Oh, and remember what I said about "game of inches"? Well, during one of the TV timeouts, a fan (overenergentic student) had one chance to make a half court shot to win a seven-day, four-person trip to Disney World. Not much of a chance, right? Alas, the ball rolled around the cylinder, and then out. Poor kid.

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