ATB: The Only Time You’ll See Auburn Here This SeasonPosted by rtmsf on December 8th, 2009
Story of the Night Week. The lack of good games this week will mean our nightly ATBs will run a little shorter than usual. From Monday to Friday, there will only be three games between ranked teams, and here’s your complete list.
- Tuesday Dec. 8 – #13 Georgetown vs. #20 Butler (ESPN) – 7 pm (Jimmy V Classic)
- Wednesday Dec. 9 – #4 Kentucky vs. #12 Connecticut (ESPN) – 9:30 pm (SEC/Big East Invitational)
- Thursday Dec. 10 – #6 Syracuse vs. #11 Florida (ESPN) – 9 pm (SEC/Big East Invitational)
If you’re a regular here at RTC, you know that good games can come in all shapes and sizes, and there needn’t be two ranked teams to ensure our interest. Still, this week offers a paucity of quality matchups on paper, but we’ll do our best to inform you as to the best games of each evening.
Game of the Night. Auburn 68, Virginia 67. We’re not sure why these two struggling teams from the SEC and ACC are even playing on a random Monday night before finals, but they did, and it was the War Eagles of Auburn that came out with the last-second tip-in to win. We’d be remiss to say that this game is likely to impact either team’s postseason chances later this year (because neither team will be participating), but hey, the SEC will take a win over the ACC wherever it can get it. After Virginia’s Sammy Zeglinski hit two FTs to put the Wahoos up by one with 7.7 seconds left, Auburn’s DeWayne Reed (18/5/7 assts) streaked upcourt to try to win the game. When his layup attempt went awry, center Brendon Knox tipped it in with 1.4 remaining, giving Auburn the win (good thing… because Knox was 1-7 from the line). Sylven Landesberg led UVa with 20/3 in the loss.
Floriani Live. Seton Hall 86, Massachusetts 68. RTC Live wasn’t there but correspondent Ray Floriani was, and he sent in his report…
NEWARK, NJ – Sunday evening Herb Pope spent most of the night ill. He visited Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez Monday morning and informed him that he wasn’t sure he could play that night against UMass. Suffice it to say that Gonzalez probably didn’t feel too well at that point. A trip to the trainer for Pope and something to settle his stomach gave him enough strength to give it a shot. Gonzalez told Pope to ’raise your fist if you get tired and we will substitute.’ The fist was never raised. Pope logged 32 minutes with a game high 22 points and 16 rebounds in an 86-68 Seton Hall triumph over UMass at the Prudential Center. Besides Pope’s outstanding work the story was defense. The first half numbers…
- UMass – 39 possessions for a 49.0 offensive efficiency
- Seton Hall – 39 possessions for 116.0 offensive efficiency
Both clubs enjoyed a 70 something possession tempo so the pace itself was not a factor. It was what Seton Hall did with it, scoring 14 points mostly in transition, in the first half off turnovers en route to a 44-19 halftime lead. The Minutemen shot 0-12 from three for the first half and 19% from the floor. The second half they found the range hitting 9-17 from three and finishing at 29% overall. It wasn’t a case of UMass simply missing , though, as the Hall entered the game with the opposition shooting 37% from the floor. The final numbers…
- UMass – 80 possessions for 85.0 offensive efficiency
- Seton Hall – 80 possessions for 108.0 offensive efficiency
The Hall improved to 7-0 while UMass fell to 4-5. Jeremy Hazell chipped in with 21 points for Seton Hall while Robert Mitchell added 13 points and 8 rebounds. UMass guards Ricky Harris and Anthony Gurley both led the Minutemen with 15 points each. Head coach Derek Kellogg would love to get the big men more involved but it’s been a struggle. “We had looks inside,” Kellogg lamented, “but didn’t finish. Seton Hall is big but when you are in close you have to finish.” Gonzalez emphasized the defense, a constant in the Hall’s fast start. “We want to prove we can defend at a higher level,” he said. “For 25 minutes we had that intensity. UMass is an Atlantic 10 team. They have talent and we defended them.” They did. In a game not really as close as the score.
Other Games of National Interest.
- #2 Texas 107, Long Beach State 74. The Longhorns had six players in double figures, led by Avery Bradley’s 17 points and Dogus Balbay’s 11 assists. It was 11-9 less than four minutes in, then Texas went on an 11-0 run and was comfortable from that point on. Stephan Gilling had 19 points and T.J. Robinson had 12/12 for the , but with four starters playing over 30 minutes, they just couldn’t match the depth of the Horns, who had ten players play at least 12 minutes.
#9 Michigan State 69, The Citadel 56. Sparty was the 29th-best team in the nation at guarding the three before this, but the Citadel came out and hit their first seven (and 12-20 overall) and stayed within ten of MSU until the 6:00 mark, at which point the Spartans were able to pull away. The Bulldogs’ undoing was that they were 7-29 (24%) from INSIDE the arc. Well, that, along with Kalin Lucas’ 17/3/6 and Raymar Morgan’s 11/10 double-double.
#18 Texas A&M, North Texas 65. The Mean Green led 17-14 almost halfway through the first half, then a 26-5 run by the Aggies through the rest of the half put them on cruise control for the remainder. TAMU had four players in double figures, led by Donald Sloan’s 21/3/4 and ‘ 15/6.