Anyone with half a brain saw last night coming from a mile away. You think the basketball Gods would allow us to win the biggest regular-season game in recent memory, then waltz into D.C. and drag our sack all over George Washington? For sure not. As hard as I searched (not at all) on Twitter and at the Dayton bar last night, I couldn’t find a single person predicting a Dayton victory. It was Northwestern all over again: get our doors blown off in the first half (50-31 after the first 20 minutes), then claw back in the second and lose by 6.
We haven’t seen an opponent start out that hot since last year’s A10 tournament game against St. Joe’s. George Washington started the game making their first NINE shots from the field and 10 of 15 from behind the arc. Not even three minutes into the game Archie called a timeout with our boys down 10-1. I’m well past broken-record status at this point but I’ll still say it: can we ever start a game not down by 10? Sure we can get away with it against lower-tier A10 teams, but our postseason will end real quick unless the defense gets back to business compared to the last few games. Scoochie looked like he was on a different planet, Cooke was passing the ball like it was a Sunday men’s game at the YMCA, and before anyone finished their first beer we were down 21-5. Credit to GW’s squad – not since the Brian Gregory days have we allowed a team to pop 50 points in the first half.
This Dayton game was the most predictable sporting event in HISTORY
— Kevin Tuleta (@KTuleta) March 5, 2017
Like clockwork, Dayton came out in the second half and splashed four shots from behind the arc, three of them belonging to the X-Man. Mind you, we made one three-point shot the entire first half. This newfound spark got us to within 11 points in the first 5 minutes of the second half. The X-Man, bless his soul, stayed hot and ended with 5 three-pointers while the rest of the team was already on to Pittsburgh. We traded blows with the Colonials for the remainder of the game and eventually went on a 17-6 run that brought us within 8, but couldn’t seal the deal. The charity stripe showed us no love last night as we shot a dismal 17-31 (55%). Kendall led the squad with 24 points and Xeyrius followed with 17. Cooke and Scooch each chipped in ten and contributed four turnovers a piece. But to make sure you guys are getting your subscription dollars’ worth, here’s some gems from Pollard:
— Flyer Faithful (@Flyer_Faithful) March 5, 2017
Those are the stats for your asses. Trying to sound positive about a game like that is damn near impossible, but anyone who is down in the dumps or worried after last night is a buffoon. Our regular season record of 24-6 is the second most wins in school history. I couldn’t have higher hopes for this team and won’t take whatever time we have left with this senior class for granted. That said, let’s listen to what our fearless leader Archie “Rooster” Miller said to Jablonski after the game:
“I saw it coming like a big boulder rolling down the hill,” Miller said. “When you have that much emotion and that much going on, we had to get grounded again, and it was tough. It’s not an excuse, but it’s tough. It was very difficult for us. A lot of it was mental fatigue, not lack of focus. We came back and made a couple runs in the game, but we just weren’t good enough. Our defense right now isn’t where it was. If we have any hope of reorganizing ourselves, hopefully this disappointing finish can get us focused.”
Translation: tonight sucked ass but we have bigger things on the horizon. We got a bad game out of the way tonight so we don’t see one in the next few weeks. Our minds are on the A10 tournament and the seed we’ll be given a week from today. For those of you out there Tweeting/chirping that last night will be the reason we get seeded poorly, bang your head against the closest wall. We get six days off before starting at noon on Friday against the winner of the Davidson-La Salle game.
Further analysis of last night + the upcoming tournament will be recorded on the podcast tonight with Blackburn, Donnie, Sully and myself. The Four Musketeers spending an entire hour bringing you the crème de la crème of basketball genius. Until then, I’ll see you in the comments below to argue the length and timeliness of this recap. See you tomorrow morning with the podcast and Sully’s tournament preview blog. And last but certainly not least, congrats to the Dayton Women’s team for their A10 Championship victory last night.
P.S. Shoutout to anyone who took Dayton -5 in the second half last night ($$$$$$)
P.P.S. Another shoutout to Glascott’s for coming in CLUTCH with that back room last night and for hosting Chicago’s LOWD Nation again this year. Those bartenders definitely don’t get paid enough.