Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Five halftime thoughts: Evansville

1.) I don’t even know why I’m bothering doing this. Evansville’s video feed is non-existent (I want my $6.99 back!). Better yet, according to Evansville’s live stats, the game has not begun yet, but Hofstra is winning at halftime, 37-32, and trailing 62-58 with 4:34 left. Really.

1b.) Anyway, Charles Jenkins has to get untracked. He has just two points—giving him 2,501 for his career—on 1-of-6 shooting as Evansville suffocates him from coast to coast. Even with Jenkins struggling, the Dutchmen bounced back from a slow start (they fell behind 7-0) to shoot 47 percent and take a 36-34 lead at the half (yes, I just broke the cardinal rule of sportswriting by not making the real score the first one I listed, but geez, Evansville is traveling ahead in time on its website!), but Greg Washington has three fouls and Mike Moore has just four points so it’s hard to see the Dutchmen advancing if Jenkins doesn’t get hot.

2.) Washington continued his inspired play by scoring the Dutchmen’s first seven points and nine of their first 12 before foul trouble ensnared him again. Who would have imagined he’d turn into such an offensive weapon that we’d beg Mo Cassara to tell him to just stand still on defense so he can contribute on the other end?

3.) Stephen Nwaukoni has been outstanding in place of Washington with four points and eight rebounds (I think), just five shy of his season and career high. Shemiye McLendon and Yves Jules each have two points as the Dutchmen have gotten far more from their young role players—one of the goals of participating in the CBI—than last year.

4.) Other than a couple turnovers, Brad Kelleher has been excellent again with seven points and a couple assists. He needs to continue running the point as effectively as he has the last few weeks in order for the Dutchmen to move on.

5.) This game is reminiscent of the Wagner game the day after Thanksgiving, when Nwaukoni pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds and Jenkins looked as bad as he’s ever looked in the first half before turning it on in the second half and scoring 17 of his 19 points in the final 13:31 to lead the Dutchmen back from a 10-point deficit. It’s hard to envision Jenkins struggling for 40 minutes. At some point in the second half, he’s going to flick the switch on. I sure hope so, anyway. My CBI Craziness bracket depends on it!

Email Jerry at defiantlydutch@yahoo.com or follow Defiantly Dutch at http://twitter.com/defiantlydutch.

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