1.) Being tied at the half is about as good as having the lead for the famously slow-starting Flying Dutchmen, but it feels as if they’re behind—which they actually were for most of the first half, the Dutchmen only enjoyed a pair of brief one-point leads. Chad Tomko is having a monster Senior Night (14 points) and the Dutchmen have not had an answer for Keith Rendleman (nine points, five rebounds). The Dutchmen will have to slow down both players to get out of Trask with the win.
2.) The Charles Jenkins-Tomko duel is fun to watch—as fun as a Larry Bird vs. Michael Jordan McDonald’s commercial—even on a web feed that is redefining my fear of heights. Seriously is there nowhere else to shoot the game but from the top row of Trask? Tomko is getting the better of Jenkins thus far with 14 points (including a four-point play to start the game), seven rebounds and two assists, but Jenkins has 14 points himself to go along with three rebounds, two steals and an assist as well as two turnovers. Jenkins outscored UNC Wilmington 7=1 by himself to give the Dutchmen one of those short-lived leads late in the half.
3.) It looks as if the Dutchmen will have to try and shut down Tomko without Yves Jules, who appeared to hurt his foot almost as soon as he entered the game late in the first half. An extended absence by Jules, the Dutchmen’s best defender, would be a tough blow to absorb heading into the CAA Tournament, so here’s hoping it’s not serious. The pressure in the second half, meanwhile, will be on Brad Kelleher.
4.) The Dutchmen learned the perils of relying entirely on Jenkins Saturday in Ohio, but Jenkins is 6-of-8 from the field while the rest of the team combined is 5-for-20. Kelleher is 0-for-4 from 3-point land and Mike Moore has missed his only attempt from beyond the arc. The Dutchmen are 2-of-25 from 3-point land in their last 60 minutes. Someone—maybe even walk-on Matt Grogan, who saw four minutes of time and missed a 3-pointer while Shemiye McLendon never got off the bench—absolutely must get hot from outside for the Dutchmen to have a shot.
5.) David Imes and Greg Washington have combined for nine rebounds, but the Dutchmen are getting beat on the boards (UNCW enjoys a 20-15 advantage and has pulled down seven offensive rebounds to just three offensive boards for the Dutchmen) and outhustled to the “50/50” balls Mo Cassara always talks about. Imes and Washington have to set the tone in that regard in the second half and also need to find their forms offensively: The two are just 2-of-9 combined from the field. If they could add some offense, it’ll take the pressure off the Dutchmen’s lagging outside game.