|Posted December 5, 2008|
ThunderWolves stumble late against Wildcats
PUEBLO, Colo. -- It all came down to a desperation heave. Dwayne Wright (Jr., Seattle, Wash.) watched his last gasp, three-quarter-court shot clank off the backboard, culminating a frantic finish to an action packed game. The ThunderWolves battled away all game to catch up to the Johnson & Wales Wildcats, and the men nearly pulled off a stunner, but ultimately lost 59-61, dropping their season record to 2-4.
Rome Smith (Sr., Denver, Colo.) hit a three-pointer at 4:26 to put the Pack ahead 54-51 and stake the ThunderWolves’ first lead of the game. Mario Balinton (Sr., San Francisco, Calif.) stole the ball on the next possession and Smith hit another three to put the Pack ahead 57-51, but the Wildcats stormed back on the ensuing possessions and put themselves back in front.
Andrew Baker, who led the Wildcats with 18 points, scored with 3:38 left to cut into the ThunderWolves’ lead, and after two Wildcat free throws, Nick Maly hit a layup in traffic to tie things up 57-57. Ethan Evenson subsequently buried a three-pointer from the right baseline corner, giving his team a 60-57 lead. That’s where things got crazy.
After the Pack inbounded the ball from a timeout, Marc Williams (RJr., Se attle, Wash.) was fouled and earned a one-and-one situation. He made the first, missed the second, and during the rebound melee, Jordan Surrat (Sr., Morgantown, W.V.) came up with the ball and was fouled. He also made the first of his one-and-one and missed the second.
During the second rebounding frenzy, a Wildcat player emerged with the ball, but he was ruled to have stepped out of bounds while in possession, so the ball was returned to the ThunderWolves. However, Roman Van Allen (Jr., Los Angeles, Calif.) missed his next jump shot and the game went back into the Wildcats’ hands.
Johnson & Wales made one of two free throws on the other end, leading to Wright’s long toss in the dying moments.
The ThunderWolves were plagued for most of the game by poor shooting, and the Pack’s starters combined to shoot 13-for-43 from the floor. Smith led the ThunderWolves with 19 points, and Williams was next in line with 10 points and five rebounds. Imari Thomas (Jr., Los Angeles, Calif.) finished with six points on 3-for-14 shooting.
The game also marked the official return of Jake Trahern (Sr., Kit Carson, Colo.). His return to Massari Arena was marked by fouls, rather than points, unfortunately, and he fouled out with a shade under two minutes to play in the game.
The ThunderWolves are back in action tomorrow night against highly-rated Seattle Pacific University. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m.