A Long Day in Virginia

Three hours apart and two and half hours apart, UNCA played two games in Virginia Friday (11/11) as the men fought hard against VCU in Richmond and the women faced the Hokies of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.  While I could’ve paid for the A10 Conference broadcast of the men’s game, I did not.  However, I followed that game on the ESPN box score and watched the entire women’s game on WatchESPN.  So…

The Bulldogs (Lady Bulldogs seems weird) lost to Virginia Tech 71-52.  UNC Asheville hung tough for three quarters before surrendering a big run to the Hokies and first year head coach, Kenny Brooks.

Solid post play defined the Bulldogs’ first quarter.  Unfortunately, some poor decision making, including settling for three’s, left UNCA down a point at the end of a first quarter when we should’ve been more dominant.

After the first quarter, the themes of the game began to show: poor transition defense, too many turnovers, and trouble with the zone.  In addition to being small in height, Virginia Tech doesn’t have many players either.  Four of their starters played over 32 minutes compared to one of Asheville’s and yet Virginia Tech’s zone wore out UNCA.  Despite multiple timeouts, Coach MKP couldn’t get the Bulldogs to adjust to their zone.  Credit certainly belongs to the Hokies for playing tremendous defense and making it difficult for driving and posting below the free throw line.  UNCA only managed 36% shooting and 17% from beyond the arc.

What started as a hot team ready to win slowly turned into a frigid team who had given up on the “W.”  All in all, if the team can increase point production and improve their transition D, the Bulldogs will be set up for another championship year.  I’m proud of how UNCA played against an ACC opponent even without the win.

Recognitions

KJ Weaver’s still killin’.  Weaver grabbed nine rebounds and scored 15 points, the team’s top scorer.  She also threw a great block in there and played a solid game.

Bronaza Fitzgerald.  Her nine points, two rebounds, and two blocks don’t completely describe how great of a game she played on Friday.  I’m looking to see great things from Fitzgerald this season.

A Few Notes on the Men’s Game

Again, while I couldn’t actually watch the men’s game, I tried to keep up with it using ESPN’s live box score.  Below are a few thoughts from the 80-65 loss to VCU:

  1. Ahmad Thomas has turned into a great scorer as he put up a team high 20 points.
  2. Macio Teague didn’t score much, but I’m confident his low shooting percentage will increase as he adjusts to the college game.
  3. No Jonathan Baehre.  While I’m not sure of the circumstances, I am surprised he didn’t even get time at the end of the game.  I would love to see his talents against Division I competition.
  4. Free throws.  UNCA attempted almost the same as VCU made; not a great place to be.
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