Gardner-Webb 81, UNC-Asheville 76.
My initial reaction to this loss was, “That’s it, we’re done, we will never win a game again, no reason to even have a basketball team anymore!”
Realizing I may have overreacted, I began looking at the stats of the game:
- Points in the paint were almost even
- Shooting percentage was even
- Asheville committed 11 turnovers, compared to GW’s 20, of which we accounted for 13
- Bulldogs only scored 11 points off GW’s 20 turnovers
- First half, UNCA had 15 defensive rebounds; second half, 9
- GW outrebounded by 15
- 51.7% from the FT line
- 18.8% from the 3-point line, including David Robertson 0-2
Fellow fans, that is one rough night. I credit Gardner-Webb’s defense for pushing UNCA off the three point line and into driving situations and then covering the attempts to pass back out. I think that knocked Asheville out of rhythm in a game where they were already feeling the stakes. Winning on the road in the Big South is extremely tough.
Hopefully, that stays true today when Liberty arrives. Earlier in the season, Asheville defeated Liberty 70-57, shooting a high 45% from three. We can only hope it’s a similar game, especially after the trouble from three against GW.
A win over Liberty will be incomplete without a win by High Point in the Piedmont. That game starts at 4pm. Wins by Asheville and High Point mean Asheville gets the #1 seed. Without the High Point win, UNCA will be seeded at #2.
Have faith. One bad game may be best prep for the tournament – whether we’re hosting or not.
Side note for sportsfans: here’s a great piece on Liberty moving to FBS football and what that means for the Big South.