The opening tip would prove to foreshadow a key to the game as 6'1 Ray Felton jumped center against 6'7 Elijah Clarke. Latta's inadequate size would eventually become too much for even the heroics of the great "Sugar Ray" to overcome. The game plan of Lincoln seemed to be simple, make Felton's teammates win the contest. Clarke finished with an impressive 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Throughout the game, Felton faced triple and even quadruple teams to disrupt his penetration and drives to the lane. For a short amount of time this seemed to backfire. Down 33-20 with 3:25 to go in the first half, Felton decided to take what the defense was giving him, the three-point basket. The last 3:25 of the first half gave us some of the games most exciting moments.
After a Telfair layup, Felton raced down the court and pulled up for a successful three. Not to be outdone, Telfair received the inbounds pass and took a successful trey of his own. On the next possessions the two answered each others three pointers. Finally, Felton hit his third consecutive three as he made the play of the night. Driven into the right corner by a 6'4 and a 6'2 defender "The Truth" took a dribble and faded away from NBA three point range draining an improbable three.
At the half Lincoln led Latta 43-32.
The second half showed, finally, that Raymond Felton is indeed human. Obviously tired from constant double teaming and full-court pressure, Felton's shot was off, and Latta's chance of slaying another giant (see Dematha and Oak Hill) was over. This was clear as the Railsplitters, led by Telfair's crisp passing, dribble penetration, and scoring built a 20-point lead with 6:00 minutes remaining.
In the past, this is when the "Raymond Show" began, but tonight it simply wasn't to be. Felton only scored 7 points in the last 11:00 minutes of the second half. However, many were still impressed with him.
(Thanks to Meghan "Stat Girl" Buie)
Felton Stats: Points 35 FG 11-27 3pters 6-14 ft 7-10 rebounds 7 (4 off.) assists 1 TO 3 blocks 1 steals 2