What a hard fought, fantastic 71-62 victory for our basketball team Saturday Night at Memorial before 10,471 fans.
Matthew Fisher-Davis led the team in scoring with 17, and Matt played well again sinking 3-of-8 trifectas and was 4-of-4 from the line, but the play of Nolan Cressler in the first half, Riley LaChance's play in the second half along with a super all around efforts by Luke Kornet and Djery Baptiste off the bench, were the keys to this victory as the Dores moved to 14-13 overall and 7-7 in the SEC and in a tie for 6th place in the conference with Tennessee and Ole Miss and two back of Alabama and Arkansas for the fourth spot in the SEC standings. A fourth place finish would insure a double bye in the SEC Tournament, but we can't worry about that right now. We play Tennessee this Wednesday in Knoxvegas at 5:30 PM CT/6:30 PM ET on the SEC Network in a gigantic contest. We can't look ahead at all with this colossal matchup Wednesday.
NacFlow's drives and scores at the basket were pivotal in opening things up for us and keeping us in the game in the first half. Nolan also hit a key triple in the second half. This South Carolina team is very good, ranked 19th in the country coming in, they play super defense, and are a tough, hard-nosed, physical basketball team. We matched their intensity and physicality after four of five minutes of the first half when they were kind of having their way scoring inside and in the mid range game. Riley came on in the second half and hit key shot after key shot to extend leads. Riley finished with 14 and four assists. Luke played his typical hard hat, lunch pale game with 9 points, 7 boards and 2 blocks. Luke had not been shooting his best recently, but sank a pair of triples in the second half, and did some superb things on defense and on the boards. Djery is really coming on. He's starting to figure out the college game, and he plays with such super energy. Djery sank a basket and pulled down 3 boards, but his hard-nosed play and hustle were huge.
Clevon Brown played solid minutes with 3 blocks, 4 rebounds, a basket and free throw. Joe Toye added 7 points. Joe and Clevon really bring athleticism to this basketball team that we really need. We've got good athletes on this team for sure, but Joe and Clevon are elite, so we need them on the floor quite a bit. Payton Willis played hard, and did some good things also.
We out-rebounded a really good rebounding team, 36-33, and that's tremendous. We held them to 1-for-9 from 3, and 43% from the field. We played a really solid game.
I don't want to get ahead of myself with SEC tourney projections, because our team needs to stay in the present with a monumental challenge in Knoxville on Wednesday. They took it to us at our place in January, 87-75, and they've on the bubble for the NCAA tournament, so this would be a huge deal to grab a victory on the road, and make us a pretty interesting team heading into the latter part of February and March. They've got a lot of very good, athletic players, so we'll need to bring the same amount of intensity on Wednesday that we brought Saturday, if not more, with it being on the road.
Love the way the team is battling and competing though. Really like their passion and effort. This group is talented and are peaking. Can't wait for Wednesday.
Baseball takes final 2 at San Diego
Our team knocked the cover off the ball in San Diego Saturday night and Sunday afternoon winning games 2 and 3 over the San Diego Toreros, 8-2 in game 2, and 11-1 in game 3.
In game 2, Alonzo Jones was 3-for-4 with 3 runs scored and an RBI, Julian Infante hit a two run shot, and Jason Delay was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Patrick Raby pitched 5 excellent innings giving up just one hit, no runs, with 3 walks and 4 Ks. Collin Snider pitched the last four innings and was superb, giving up only 2 hits, walking none and striking out 7. Wow, that's awesome.
In game 3 of the set, Jeren Kendall was 2-for-5 with 2 Ribeyes, Ethan Paul had two hits and 3 Ribbies, and Infante added two hits and 3 more Ribeyes. Freshman Drake Fellows pitched 6 superb innings, giving up only 2 hits, no runs, walking 1 and K'ing 5. Matt McGary, freshman Zach King and closer Matt Ruppenthal finished it off, as we left the left coast with 2 impressive victories. After a frustrating first game, the team really got it together and played extremely well to close out the series against a good San Diego team. Up next is the Wednesday home opener against Evansville out of Indiana, and then a weekend home set vs University of Illinois- Chicago. Good start for a talented team. Love what Julian did with the bat and what the starting pitching did along with Collin's relief work.
Latest addition to the 2017 class
Coach Mason added the 20th player to this 2017 class in 6'4", 320 pound offensive guard Saige Young. Saige, a Kentucky native, qualified to play FBS out of high school, but spent this past season at Dodge City Community College in Kansas. Watched Saige's film and it's superb. He buries people and has that terrific mean streak that Coach Mason and offensive line coach Cameron Norcross are looking for in their linemen. Saige joins a stellar o line class with tackles Bryce Bailey, Cole Clemens and Jonathan Stewart and offensive guard/tackle Grant Miller. Super line class. Really like this class in general.
With basketball cookin, baseball starting to start churning out the victories, and the signing class secured and spring ball starting a week from today, a lot to be fired up about. Will have write ups with superb women's tennis coach Geoff McDonald and phenomenal men's golf coach Scott Limbaugh, and another interesting piece on football I think you'll enjoy next week. Take care and Anchor Down!