Thursday, November 20, 2008

Game 3: Fairfield vs. Va. Tech

Fairfield (1-1)
G #3 Jonathan Han (Sr., 14.5 ppg, 2.5 apg)
G #15 Herbie Allen (Sr., 4.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg))
C #32 Anthony Johnson (Jr., 9.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg)
F #4 Yorel Hawkins (So., 2.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
F #41 Mike Evanovich (Jr., 1.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg)
Coach - Ed Cooley, 3rd season

Virginia Tech (2-0)
G #5 Dorenzo Hudson (So., 2.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
G #23 Malcolm Delaney (So., 16.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg )
C #34 Cheick Diakite (Sr., 3.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg)
F #40 A.D. Vassallo (Sr., 17.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
F #0 Jeff Allen (So., 16.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg)
  • Live from the Coliseo de Puerto Rico! O.K., maybe Tom Cleary and I are only here in 27-degree Fairfield, Conn. watching the game on ESPNU in the Mirror Office, but the Stags are looking to make their mark over in a U.S. territory
  • Warren Edney and Greg Nero to the bench? Must be something beyond the surface. Which leads me to...
  • Mike Evanovich gets the start alongside Nero and Anthony Johnson at forward, marking his first start of the season. I'd think that its a match-up decision. As does Yorel Hawkins. Interesting decisions on both accounts
  • The Hokies bring a 2-0 record to San Juan. Va. Tech won both of its games thus far this season (Gardner-Webb, 65-62, and Mount St. Mary’s, 62-57). Both mid-majors, both close games. Is there hope? Stay tuned.
11:07 - 12-7 Hokies. Back-and-forth play so far. Evanovich hit an early three, looks like that move plays dividends. Allen drew an offensive foul and seems in rhythm early on. 

11:08 - Peanut Johnson nails an awkward dunk. No style points,  but we'll take it. Dapper Cooley watch: no shirt and tie. Just a plain old Fairifeld polo. When in San Juan...

11:09 - First media timeout of the game, as the Hokies hold a 14-7 lead. As far as I'm concerned, the longer the Stags are in this, the better. (Side note: That's two commercials for O'Reilly's Auto Parts in nine minutes. Nine. I wonder what the over/under is on that for the game. Hopefully it's not on TBS/Frank TV level).

11:11 - This game is brought to you by "Puerto Rico". Talk about marketing strategies.

11:12 - Nine possessions, four turnovers. Edney and Nero check in. 

11:14 - Two free throws from Nero, who draws the lovely "Tyler Hansborough" label from the  ESNPU color commentator. I'm a Duke fan, so, while not a fan of the comparison, can see that  that's a compliment.

11:16 - Another possession, another Fairifeld turnover, as Anthony Johnson walks in the post. Cooley said if they can keep the turnovers under 15, they have a chance to win regardless of the opponent. They've already got five.

11:18 - Nero buries a three - which is a big, big shot for Fairfield to stop the bleeding. 19-11 Hokies. They also get a much needed stop on the other end. (Is that a Rob Sisca sighting early on?)

11:22 - Obila takes advantage of a rookie mistake on a defensive slide by Ryan Olander. He tallies an extra from the free throw line to push the lead to 21-11. A put back in transition makes it 23-11 Tech. Oh, boy.

11:24 - First Nero/Hansborough, and now the Warren Edney and Chris Paul connection is mentioned. Gotta love the Fairfield-ACC connections.

11:25 - Way too many threes early on. "I don't know if that's Cooley or a gameplan or if they're just a little nervous. But we can't win like that," says Tom Cleary. And I couldn't agree more. (Herbie looks great - another basket for him. Seems like the Memphis hangover is officially dead at this point).

11:27 - Jeff Allen slams a dunk; Ed Cooley is livid. If Fairfield is to win this game (or any game in the Tip-Off for that matter), they can't allow easy baskets in transition or off slides in the paint like that. That, coupled with far too many three-point shots on offense, is why Va. Tech is up 28-15 right now (8:08 to go in the first half).

11:33 - Well over 15 minutes into the gaem, nd Edney and Han still have yet to score. Not a good sign. Over on the other end of the court, the Stags have shifted to a hybrid 2-3 zone to try to stop Virginia Tech's slashing style. Let's see if it pays dividends.

11:36 - TGFH (Thank God for Herbie), as Allen hits another three. But, once again, the Hokies answer on a three by Terrell Bell on the other end on a kick-out pass. 35-21 with 4:51 remaining in the first.

11:38 - Greenberg takes a T.O. Cooley is none happy in that huddle.

11:44 - Allen three. Han three. Allen creative lay-up. Just like that, the Stags are back in the  thick of it here. The key though is to see if they can build off of it and get a stop or two in a row in that 2-3 zone. Stay tuned.

11:47 - You're score from San Juan at half: Va. Tech 40, Fairfield 31. Tom Cleary will chime in with some thoughts in a few.

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