Women vs. Tennessee Tech
Starting on the high note, the Women continued their winning streak against a pesky Tennessee Tech team, beating the Golden Eagles 77-65. By outworking UNC Asheville, and by the Bulldogs poor decision-making, Tenn. Tech held a sizable lead through the 1st quarter until Khaila Webb’s buzzer-beating three cut the Eagles’ lead to two. The mix of no rebounding, poor shot selection, and, yet again, a lack of transition defense made it look like Tenn. Tech was on their way to a win. However, the 2nd quarter began with drives to the basket and great post play. Rather than settling for three as in the 1st, UNCA looked to kick the ball out and, therefore, the threes started falling. The big run by the bulldogs gave them a lead they would hang on to for the remainder of the game.
While at times the game was close, the determined Bulldogs closed the rebounding margin and outshot their opponent in shooting percentage. Unfortunately, the rebounding game could’ve been much better and fouls were definitely an issue. By the end of the game, Chatori Major and Sonora Dengokl fouled out. Thankfully, Tenn. Tech had foul trouble of their own with three starters having four fouls each.
Khaila Webb. On Friday, she was feelin’ it. In 26 minutes, Webb scored 20 points and 6 assists on 63.6% shooting, including 2-3 from long range.
Bronaza Fitzgerald. She continues to impress me coming off the bench. In 18 minutes, Fitzgerald scored 13 points and 8 rebounds on 80% shooting. Unfortunately, she included four turnovers and three fouls in that short time. Still, I always look forward to seeing what she’s capable of.
Men at Kansas
The Bulldogs lost to a national champion contender and No.5 ranked Kansas team on Friday night 95-57. Tieing the game at 7, the Bulldogs tried hard to keep pace with the ball bouncing in their favor at times, getting close again at 14-12. However, after that, Kansas quickly found their groove.
Size. Talent. Atmosphere. We all knew what was going to happen, so let’s focus on the positives:
Turnovers. The Bulldogs committeed only eight turnovers at Allen Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs commit 11 on average, so seeing a low number against such a dominant opponent is excellent.
Experience. Every player got to play at least a couple minutes in one of the best arenas in college basketball. They saw a championship contender have to communicate and make adjustments. Ultimately, experiences like those stick with players and, hopefully, help them grow while they’re here.
Kevin Vannatta. A shooter who has been struggling, struggled a bit against Kansas too. However, he and Ahmad Thomas tied in team high points. Hopefully, this means he’s climbing back up.