Monday brought with it the official start of the winter break. The first weekday on which their were no classes was certainly cause for celebration and relaxation (relaxation particularly necessary after last week’s car wreck). With no more projects, tests, or papers hanging over our heads, we were free to do whatever we pleased. However, our first order of business was to take a trip right back down to school and the house in Hamden. Seems that when my scattered brain left many things behind that I would actually need in the coming week. After that, it was time for the first road trip of the winter break. Off to Hanover New Hampshire for men’s basketball action between the home-standing Dartmouth College Big Green and your Quinnipiac University Bobcats. It seemed like a perfect time for a running diary, with an emphasis on the unusual and entertaining, of course (hopefully enough interesting stuff will happen). Here’s a minute-by-minute account of the events at Leede Arena:
7:36 PM: We’re underway. Tip controlled by Quinnipiac, who naturally, misses a three to start things off.
7:37: After a miss at the other end, Van Crafton hits a three for the Bobcats to open the scoring.
7:38: 1:12 into the game, and Dale Meinbresse has a foul and a traveling violation. Good to see him making the best of his start.
7:39: Bobcat free-throw watch. Karl Anderson hits two from the line, and the Bobcats are 2-2 on the game. Shocking.
7:40: Anderson with a rebound, feeds a streaking DeMario Anderson for a fast break layup. Bobcats out of the gates fast. 7-0 Quinnipiac with 17:30 to play in the first half.
7:42: And… there it is! Took almost three minutes, but there’s the first Bobcat turnover due to running the court faster than they can handle. Van Crafton streaks down the right wing and fires a pass into the middle… right to a player in a white shirt. Unfortunately, the Bobcats are wearing blue tonight.
At the other end, the Big Green are on the board 3:19 into the contest with a free throw. 7-1 Quinnipiac.
7:44: Karl Anderson picks up his second foul some 20 feet away from the basket. Off to the bench he goes less than five minutes into the game. Where have I seen this before…
First media timeout of the game. 10-1 Quinnipiac with 15:39 left in the half.
7:46: Unfortunately, with the students on break, this place is dead. The entertainment for the first media timeout is the kids mopping the sweat out of the lane. No cheerleaders, no t-shirt tossing, no nothing. Unfortunate.
7:48: In the play after the timeout, senior Dartmouth guard Leon Pattman goes crashing to the floor just to the left of my seat. He hobbles directly to the locker room favoring his right ankle after the next whistle. Can’t be a good sign for the Big Green.
7:52: Pittman hobbles back out of the locker room and takes a seat at the end of the Dartmouth bench.
Simultaneously, Dartmouth hits their first field goal of the night: a three from DeVon Mosley. 12-4 Quinnipiac with 12:30 to play. Maybe just having him back on the bench provided some kind of mental lift.
7:53: Or, maybe not. On their next possession, the Big Green turn the ball over with a travel 25 feet from the bucket.
Second media timeout. 11:33 on the clock: 15-4 Quinnipiac. Dartmouth just can’t hit a shot at all.
During the break, Pattman checks back into the game. I guess the injury wasn’t that serious.
7:56: Rare signs of life and emotion coming from the Bobcat bench. Seems they’re enjoying playing with a lead for a change. Maybe they’ll try it more often.
7:57: Bobcat free-throw watch: Victor Akinyanju clanks two. Quinnipiac now 2-6 on the game after hitting their first two.
7:58: Job Casimir checks into a game for Quinnipiac for the first time all season. With the first semester officially over, he is once again eligible to compete. Let’s see how long it takes him to fall over while dribbling the ball.
8:01: He didn’t fall over, but there’s his first turnover. Tried a no-look pass on a 2-on-1. Maybe he should have looked. Layup the other way sparks a quick four-point burst and pulls Dartmouth to within seven. Timeout Quinnipiac.
8:03: Third media timeout. 7:34 to play and the Quinnipiac lead has been trimmed to 17-12. The Bobcats are starting to slip back into their run-and-gun offense, even though sitting back and taking advantage of the match-ups they had was working just fine.
8:04: Three-point shooting contest by some kid during the timeout. He was shooting with what looked to be a volleyball or some other crazy object. At the least, it was not your standard orange basketball. I think he went 1-for-7 from behind the arc.
8:07: Quinnipiac free-throw watch. Akinyanju hits one of two. The miss hit the backboard before the rim, and the make fell through after a high bounce of the back of the rim. Bobcats unofficially 3-for-8 from the line by my count.
8:10: The Quinnipiac free-throw watch continues. Karl Anderson splits a pair. 4-for-10 for the team now. I think they’ve found our kryptonite. I’m just waiting for a team to employ the “Hack-a-Shaq” philosophy against Anderson and Akinyanju.
8:11: Fourth and final media timeout of the half. 3:36 to play: 23-15 Bobcats. I leave you momentarily to fulfill one of my only duties of the night. I must make sure the winning coach at halftime (Quinnipiac’s Joe DeSantis, in this case) remembers that he must do a television interview.
Half-time wrap-up: I spent halftime making sure the coach of each team showed up for their TV interview at the right time and chatting with Erin in the stands. So, if anything important happened, I missed it. I did, however, get a close look at the volleyball-like thing mentioned in the shooting contest before. Turns out it’s a basketball painted white and then with green dollar bills painted on top of that. It’s called the “Money Ball.” How original.
The first half box score says the Quinnipiac free-throw watch stands at 7-for-13, with Akinyanju sporting a spectacular 1-for-5. A few other important numbers: Karl Anderson has three fouls and is thus starting the second half on the bench. Van Crafton leads all scorers with 10 points. The Bobcats have managed to turn the ball over nine times. Dartmouth shot 7-for-27 (25.9%) in the first half and yet they’re still in the game because Quinnipiac only managed to hit 10-for-25 (40%). As always, free throws are the story: Dartmouth has hit 6-for-7 (85.7%) from the line while, as mentioned above, Quinnipiac is 7-for-13 (53.7%). Ug-ly.
8:38: Second half underway. Still 30-22 Quinnipiac. So, the good news is that we managed not to lose any ground over the halftime break.
8:39: But it doesn’t take long for the slip to continue. Early Dartmouth bucket cuts the lead to six.
8:44: A DeVon Mosley jumper completes the collapse. Dartmouth has their first lead of the game, 31-30 with 16:00 to play.
8:45: First media timeout of the second half. 31-30 Dartmouth with 15:23 remaining.
There’s the t-shirt toss we’ve been waiting for. Who doesn’t love the firing of promotional items into the crowd?
8:50: Quinnipiac free-throw watch. Chris Wehye twice drives to the bucket and makes a layup. Twice he is fouled in the process. Twice he misses the opportunity for a three-point play. 7-for-15 from the line for the Bobcats, who hold a 34-33 lead.
8:52: Dartmouth calls a timeout with 12:05 on the clock. First time out of the second half, so it becomes a media timeout. 37-36 Quinnipiac. Nice move by Dartmouth coach Terry Dunn to get his team some rest. With the timeout stretched to a media timeout, and another media timeout coming at the first whistle after the 12:00 mark (i.e. five seconds from now), there’s plenty of time coming up for these teams to get their legs back under them.
8:56: Second media timeout of the half. Still 37-36, now with 11:46 to play.
8:58: Quinnipiac free-throw watch. Akinyanju hits the first… and… misses the second. However, he gets his own rebound and gets fouled again. He’s 2-for-7, and the team is 8-for-17.
8:59: Akinyanju air-balls the front end of the next two free throws. Haven’t seen that since the C.J. Vick days. He also clanks the second. 3-for-9 on the day for Victor, and 8-for-19 for the Bobcats: a miserably even 50%.
Side note: Somewhere during that stretch of Akinyanju free throws, I heard Randy Brochu mention “Hack-a-Shaq” on the radio broadcast going on to my right. Apparently I’m not the only one with that idea.
9:01: Casey Cosgrove to the line in a 1-and-1 situation. The Bobcats are already in the bonus with over 10 minutes to play. If (big IF) they hit their free throws, they could and should take this one. Cosgrove hits both and Quinnipiac is now 10-for-21 from the line on the evening.
9:06: Third media timeout of the half. 7:20 to play, and a 45-40 lead for Quinnipiac. This game is quite low scoring, but it certainly isn’t because it’s an epic defensive battle. Just sloppy on both ends all evening.
9:12: It’s tougher to hear Joe DeSantis from the opposite side of the court (as opposed to right next to him at home games), but this is the first time I’ve noticed him working the officials all night. It appeared the shot clock continued to run for a second after the ball had been whistled out-of-bounds and expired on the Bobcats as a result. As per usual, DeSantis states his disappointment in an energetic manner and then leaves with a smile (or perhaps a smirk) on his face.
9:14: Final media timeout. Dartmouth putting together a little run. We’ve got a barn-burner on our hands: 47-46 Dartmouth with 3:08 to play. I suppose I should start thinking up questions for interviewing Coach DeSantis afterwards for the post-game quotes portion of the web site.
9:16: Bobcat free-throw watch. Crafton drains two to pull the Bobcats to 12-for-23 from on the night.
9:17: There it is. The back-breaker. You could see that one coming from a mile away. Pattman drills a three from about six feet behind the arc as the shot clock expires. Tie game: 49-49. Timeout Quinnipiac.
9:19: Following a turnover by the Bobcats, Mosley buries a three from the corner, and all the momentum is headed Dartmouth’s way. 52-49, Big Green with 1:37 to play. Dartmouth takes a timeout to set up their defense. Not much of a crowd here, but they are making some noise for the Dartmouth comeback.
9:21: Big-time Bobcat free-throw watch here. Adam Gonzalez drives, hits a layup, and is fouled. His free-throw could tie the game. And… he got it. Quinnipiac evens it at 52-52, now with 1:11 to play. Bobcats 13-for-24 from the line on the night.
9:24: In case you’re not a Quinnipiac fan, let me bring you up to date. This is the point every night where you start to ask yourself: “How are they going to lose this game?” They’re certainly in the game (after all, it’s tied with a minute to play), so you’ve got some hope. But, at the same time, almost no part of you is actually convinced that they will win the game.
9:25: Continuing the Quinnipiac free-throw watch. Wehye fouled after coming down with a defensive rebound, and Quinnipiac is in the double bonus. Wehye drains the first… and… has the second rim out on him. 53-52 lead for the Bobcats, who are now 14-for-26 from the line. Timeout Dartmouth.
9:28: Pattman fouled while shooting in the lane with 19.0 seconds to play. Nice of the Bobcats to put one of Dartmouth’s best at the line. He drills them both to give Dartmouth a one-point lead.
9:29: Crafton gets trapped in the corner with the ball, and DeSantis has to call a timeout. 8.7 seconds left and the Bobcats are down a point. Time to come up with something good.
9:30: Gonzalez drives the lane, and passes the ball… out of bounds. That was not something good.
9:32: Pattman hits two at the line to more-or-less ice things. 56-53 Dartmouth, 2.7 seconds to play. Timeout Quinnipiac, as they try to draw up a play for a buzzer-beating three.
9:33: The Bobcats nearly turn the 3/4-court pass over, but it bounces right to Gonzalez, who’s shot clanks off the right side of the rim. 56-53 Dartmouth, final. And I get to go talk to DeSantis for post-game quotes. Fun.
9:40: Alright, that wasn’t too bad. One quick sound-bite at done.
Post-game wrap-up: Dartmouth’s Leon Pattman scored more points (13) in the second half than any Bobcat had in the game (Van Crafton led the way with 12). Quinnipiac shot 37% from the floor, and were the better of the two teams as the Big Green managed only 32.2%.
Bottom Line: Final Quinnipiac free-throw watch: 14-for-26 (53.8%). Turnovers: Quinnipiac: 18. Dartmouth: 7. There’s your game right there between those two stats.
Not nearly as much interesting stuff happened as I had hoped. Overall, it was really a pretty dull game until the last couple minutes. Hopefully this post ended up being somewhat entertaining despite that.
In the end, this was really the same exact basketball game that I’ve seen played at least 12 times in my four years here. The effort was there, it almost always is. The execution however… not so much. We’ll see what happens on Saturday against Vermont.
Just a few links from the past couple days:
Floyd Landis to Retire – And he tries to play the sympathy card on the way out. How pathetic.
Shortage of Kilts for Scottish Soldiers – “… in the meantime, soldiers will have to share.” Sharing kilts? Don’t the Scottish traditionally wear nothing under their kilts? I’ll pass on the sharing, thank you.
Noses May be More Powerful than Previously Thought – This “highly scientific” study was carried out by having college students blindfolded sniffing the ground for chocolate. Interesting.