Written for your enjoyment by: Ray Curren
Well, I paid the $5 for the Mount feed to see the mighty Bobcats of Quinnipiac look to go 9-1 in the NEC. But they had a tough time at home against the Mount when they couldn't just use their athleticism like they do in most of their NEC games. So I have a sneaking suspicion tonight may be the Mount gets themselves back into the discussion for the tournament title. And a trip to Dayton (should we just call the NEC the rest of the year The Road to Dayton? Done and done.)
Disclaimer, as a resident of Hamden, Conn., I have to root for Quinnipiac because I can almost walk there from here. Except that it's 10 degrees out here right now.
6:47 - Already impressed that the announcer can say Quinnipiac (QUIN-a-pee-ack not quin-a-PEE-ack). Off to a good start.
6:50 - Announcing points out that Quinnipiac has a win streak, but it's over chumps. Hard to argue with that one.
6:55 - Coach Brown's interview over the National Anthem. Boooo.
6:58 - Apparently, the weather is bad down in Emmitsburg, too.
7:01 - We're under way, tip goes to the Mount, which I guess is new. Students supposedly "thunderous". I would go with "audible". QU man-to-man.
7:03 - After a held ball call, the color announcer says, "What is this, girls high school basketball?". As a girls high school basketball coach, I take offense. The QU announcers were called homers when they played here, but so far these guys are much worse.
7:05 - Announcer just figures out that it's "Coaches vs. Cancer" weekend, and both coaches are wearing sneakers. Could have watched any of the 100 games that were on TV earlier in the day.
7:09 - Will Holland came off the bench to hit a 3 for the Mount, but the defenses rule the day early with stifling man-to-man. Mount leads 5-4 and Rutty has 5 rebounds at the U-16 time out. Offense will come soon, methinks.
7:11 - Little water on the court delays play from all the people walking into the game, just like our high school gym. Except no AD yelling at people, I don't think.
7:16 - "What do you have to do to take a charge?" the color announcer asks. I would say set your feet. The Mount announcers, just like the QU announcers, earlier this month, are begging Shawn Atupem to shoot. He obliges, and shoots a pair of bricks.
7:19 - 10:20 to go in the first half, Mount leads 11-6. What were they saying about high school girls basketball? Our team scores a lot more than both these teams. With that being said, both defenses are playing very well. To say QU's offense is out of sync might be the understatement of the year. They look like crap. Tom Moore will try to figure it out. QU 3-for-17 from the field with 6 turnovers. Yikes.
7:23 - Quinnipiac is trying to run a "Flex" offense, but they are running it in slow motion. Kelly Beidler goes back door for a layup and an 8-point Mount lead.
7:25 - Under 8 (7:36) to go and the Mount has a 15-9 lead as the game stays ugly. It looks like Atupem can do everything else well except for shoot, he's grabbed a couple of big rebounds. Atupem and Justin Rutty are the respective leading scorers with 4 points each. Jeremy Goode is at the line when we come back.
7:29 - James Feldeine has arrived in the building and hit a shot, which is nice to see. Meanwhile, Rutty is figuring out that they can't stop him, which is allowing QU back in the game. But Danny Thompson gets a big bucket for the Mount on the follow. It ain't pretty, but the offenses are scoring. A little. The announcers continue to badger the officials. Amateur hour.
7:32 - Rutty goes to the basket again and gets fouled. Mount has 7 fouls, and QU has 3, mainly because they're actually going to the basket, but it's all the biased officials' fault, I guess.
7:35 - It's Rutty at one end and Goode at the other as the play has opened up. Big play by Thompson again who retrieves a miss, kicks it out to Holland, who drains a 3. Big basket to kill some QU momentum, and it's 26-20 Mount with 2:38 to go in the first half. Rutty has 10 points and 8 rebounds.
7:39 - Offensive foul on Goode on a 4-on-2. Don't agree with that one, and if I don't agree, then you know what's going on with the Mount announcers. "These guys don't deserve a paycheck for this game." Meanwhile, the Mount is winning 26-24.
7:43 - It goes to half with Mount in front 26-24 after the Mount misses two shots in the final seconds. It was ugly, and the Mount may rue the fact they don't have a bigger lead here.
7:46 - You want some ugly numbers: QU 8-30 from the field, 0-3 3-pointers. Mount 9-24 from the field, 2-4 from 3. Rutty has a double-double with 10 and 10 already, Feldeine has been invisible, 1-8 from the field, 2 pts. For Mount, Goode has 6 points, but only took 3 shots, and only has 2 assists. There's only been 6 assists in the entire game. I don't think Syracuse is worried.
Some Internet problems at the half, so we're going to skip the timestamps, but you can figure it out yourself.
* The much-maligned Shawn Atupem, whom both announcing crews dared to shoot, and went 2-of-8 in the first half, has taken over to start the second half. Meanwhile, Jonathan Cruz keeping QU in the game with back-to-back buckets.
* Time out to clean up the water on the court again with 16:46 to go. Mount leads 35-28 after a runout and layup by Goode. QU has nothing as far as an outside game and if that doesn't change, they're going to lose this game.
* Under 16 timeout (15:58) and the Mount has its largest lead of the game at 37-28 after another Atupem hoop. Where did this guy come from? Feldeine has gone to the bench, and is 1-of-8 from the field for QU in this game. That's not going to get it done.
* Went a long time without a whistle there, 39-34 Mount with 11:22 left. Feldeine is killing QU tonight, he can't make anything. Meanwhile, Thompson made another hustle play that led to a Mount second chance. After Holland was called for a charge, the announcer said, "Fahey is terrible. The worst official I've seen all year." Rutty has 12 points and 14 rebounds.
* Atupem continues to dominate in the second half. Pierre Brown comes off the bench and drains a 3. Nice to see someone hit an outside shot. Time out, QU. 44-35 Mount with 9:55 left. QU has 7 fouls in this half, and Tom Moore is not happy. Of course, the announcers still think the refs are in his pocket.
* Feldeine misses another easy shot. He's 1-11 from the field. He's averaging 18.2 points per game. He finally gets to the line and makes a couple. Atupem takes Rutty to the goal and it's starting to get away from the Bobcats a little here. Mount trying to push to double figures. And they do, Goode to Barber for the dunk, and another QU timeout, 48-37 with 7:46 to go.
* 11 seconds to by, Rutty gets fouled, media timeout with 7:35 to go. Quinnipiac is 12-44 from the field. Ouch.
* QU goes to a half-court trap, which is effective, but they still can't score. Finally, they get a layup to cut it to 49-41. Cajou scores, but Twyman finally hits a 3, QU's first of the night to cut the Mount lead to 8. Actually it was called a 2. Steal on the inbound, it goes to Baker, he scores and he's fouled. Might be game on. Baker misses the free throw, but Rutty gets it and puts it back in. 51-47 Mount, 7 points in about 15 seconds for the Bobcats. QU gets it to 2, but Holland hits a huge 3 to make it 54-49 with 4:30 left. Timeout Mount. Could be a good finish.
* Feldeine misses back-to-back layups. And they were layups. Unbelievable. Called a charge against the Mount at the other end, but apparently the announcer had a better view again. QU ball down 54-49 with 3:21 to go. Feldeine is 1-13 from the field.
* Rutty gets an easy layup. After a couple of misses, Cajou with a huge shot to make it 56-51 with 2 to play. Feldeine misses another shot, he looks for a hole to crawl into, but none available. Time out, QU with 1:43 to go. If Mount makes free throws, they should win. QU has 6 assists in this game, by the way.
* Feldeine gets a steal, but throws it back to the Mount. Goode makes a free throw, Rutty misses a shot. Timeout Mount, 57-51 with 36.1 seconds left and they have the ball. All over but the shouting, I think.
* Twyman hits a 3 after a couple of free throws, 59-54 with 15 seconds left. Mount ball, just have to get the ball in.
* Cajou makes 1 of 2 free throws, but Goode fouls Twyman on a 3 with 5.8 seconds left. 60-54 Mount. Scoreboard goes out, someone pulled the plug. Whoops. Twyman makes 2 of 3, 60-56. All over.
* 61-56 final Mount wins. About what I expected. Except for the Feldeine part. I don't think anyone wants to see the Mount in the NEC Tournament just based on their athleticism. Rutty finished with 18 and 15, but it wasn't enough. Atupem was great, 16 points, 10 in the second half.
* I'm going to guess that the Mount has not played defense like this all season. Cajou was especially dominant on the defensive end, and although QU had the advantage inside, the guys inside for the Mount did enough to keep it from being too easy. Good win for the Mount, and Wagner coming up twice (although Wagner is playing a little better). As an outside observer, I expect to hear from the Mount in the NEC Tournament. Also known as The Road to Dayton.