Well, that was interesting.
Archie’s 100th career win was definitely exciting and gave everyone a heart attack at the same time. This game had it all — the return of our Canadian brother, missed free throws, and a team that doesn’t usually shoot great from downtown, shot the lights out. A typical game.
I remember looking up at the scoreboard at one point and thinking, “WHOA, we’re up by TWENTY.” Ten minutes later I had a similar thought, “WHOA, we are only up by FOUR at the half.” I am still trying to figure out how exactly we managed to blow a 23 point lead and if anyone has any idea, let me know. If my calculations are correct, in the first ten minutes of the first half, Arkansas only scored 7 points, and in the last 10 minutes of the second half, Dayton managed to only score 8 points. Weird.
The biggest reason Dayton managed to blow such a big lead is unnecessary fouling. It was ridiculous. Big Steve had four fouls in a matter of about 10 minutes and we didn’t see much of him until the second half. We let them back into the game and like I said before, a team that usually isn’t great from behind the arc shot extremely well.
Why you are probably here is to read about the return of my man Dyshawn. It was, in my opinion, a very solid first game back for him. He played 33 minutes, which is WAY more than I was expecting, and managed to score 11 points and grab four boards, despite shooting less than 30% for the night. He got a standing O from the Sweater Army and the Arena was as LOWD as I have ever heard it. Glad to have him back, and really excited to see him start hitting shots.
Finally, that was one of the craziest finishes I have seen in a very long time. First, WE HAVE TO MAKE FREE THROWS IF WE WANT TO WIN BASKETBALL GAMES. We shot 70% for the night, which is not bad by any standard, but down the stretch it felt like we missed every other one. That simply cannot happen if we want to make a run in March. Second, allowing Arkansas to get off a really good shot off with 2 seconds left also cannot happen. Most of the time teams miss those, but not this time.
I have never heard the Arena get so quiet so quickly. The only thing I can compare it to is the loss to USC back in 2013. Dead. Quiet. What I am still trying to understand is why Archie didn’t ask them to foul before they could get a shot off. It worked in overtime, but why not earlier?
Overall it was good to get a win and getting to see Kendall Pollard flex is always a good day.
This is my first article on Blackburn Review. I’ve been doing photos for a while and usually sit on the court during games. Let me know what you think. Hopefully this is the first of many.