Terwilliger Prevails In Showdown With Cook

OSU signee Matt Terwilliger and his Troy squad went head to head with Dayton Dunbar and its sophomore star Daequan Cook Saturday night. Click here for more details on this entertaining game.

The much anticipated match-up between the Troy Trojans and the Dayton Dunbar Wolverines centered around their respective stars, Matt Terwilliger and Daequan Cook. Buckeye fans are hoping the two see plenty more of each other—on the same team.

Terwilliger, the 6-9 Ohio State signee, scored 28 points on a 13-of-16 shooting performance, in leading Troy to an easy 90-69 victory over Dunbar on Saturday night.

The packed gymnasium included the likes of Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel as well as OSU basketball assistant LaMonta Stone.

Cook scored 20 points, himself. The 6-6 sophomore did most of his damage playing only about 20 of the 32 minutes, as he was hampered with foul problems for most of the game.

Terwilliger was impressed with Cook's game.

"He was very good," he said. "He's young, but he's tough to stop. He's extremely athletic; he's going to be a good one."

Although Cook, and several other players for both teams had their moments, the spotlight most certainly belonged to Terwilliger. Terwilliger showed a rare blend of strength, agility, and finesse as he grabbed five rebounds, blocked seven shots, and distributed seven assists to aid his game-high 28 points.

Terwilliger was happy to rise to the occasion in such a hyped showdown, but cautioned it wasn't about the individual aspect.

"I try not to put it on a personal level," Terwilliger said. "I like to play team ball. I love going up against more complete teams, as opposed to individuals. I think it's a bigger accomplishment that way, because if we've got a better team ourselves, I don't have to put any pressure on myself to do everything and I shouldn't have to."

The game itself had a very encouraging beginning for the Wolverines. On the very first possession, after Troy had won the opening tip, Cook intercepted a Micheal Hall pass.

Cook took the ball the length of the floor, and forced a Terwilliger foul, sending him to the free throw line just 14 seconds in to the game. Cook made one-of-two free throws for the quick advantage.

Dunbar had very little to cheer about for the rest of the first quarter. On the next two possessions, Terwilliger made a pair of baseline jump shots to send Troy on a 14-2 run.

Cook caught fire scoring on four of the last five possessions, cutting Dunbar to within 19-14 at the end of one period. Terwilliger closed with six points and a pair of assists.

Any momentum that Dunbar had going into the second quarter was erased quickly as Troy scored on four of their first five possessions. Terwilliger found Hall for a pair of threes, and on one of the other possessions, he flew past a Dunbar defender for a vicious dunk, the first of six on the evening.

Trailing 29-16 with 6:15 remaining in the half, Dunbar started another rally.

The Wolverines closed out an 11-0 run to climb to within just two points, after Cook jumped the passing lane to take the ball the length of the court, throwing down a one-handed windmill dunk.

Hall responded for the Trojans, nailing a pair of three-pointers, kicking off an 8-0 run. The spurt put Troy back ahead by 10, 37-27.

The last four minutes of the second quarter for Dunbar, was spent with Cook on the bench. Cook picked up his third foul with 3:45 left in the half.

Despite Cook's absence, Mark Anderson was able to pick up the slack for Dunbar. Anderson scored seven points in the second quarter, pulling the Wolverines to just a seven-point halftime deficit, 36-32.

After Dunbar scored the first four points of the second half, which got them to within 39-36, Troy began to put the game out of reach.

In a brief three-minute stretch where Cook picked up a fourth personal foul, Troy went on a 14-2 run.

The spurt contained a little of everything from Terwilliger, as he took the game over himself.

Up 53-38, the Trojans would end the third quarter with a 62-47 lead as Dunbar failed to keep pace.

Terwilliger, in the last four minutes of the third quarter alone, scored eight points, grabbed two rebounds, had two assists, blocked three shots, and had a number of oohs and aahs from the crowd.

He continued his incredible repertoire of fancy low-post moves, explosive dunks, and jaw-dropping blocks, by scoring the first six points of the fourth quarter.

With Cook on the bench, and Terwilliger taking over, the Wolverines were helpless, trailing 68-47 with only six minutes remaining.

Anderson was the lone bright spot for the Wolverines in the fourth quarter, as he scored eight points on his way to a team-high 23 points.

Cook himself, finished with four rebounds, three blocked shots, and a pair of steals despite his conspicuous absence from the floor for long stretches.

Hall, the junior point guard and younger brother of former University of Dayton stand-out Brooks, finished with 23 points for Troy.

Terwilliger continues to use these types of games as a building block for his individual improvements. He said the Ohio State coaching staff has communicated to him some of the things he could improve on.

"Intensity and bringing it every night out mostly," Terwilliger said. "Playing strong inside is what they want to see most out of me. I love to get some exclamation points whenever I can."

Perhaps one of the more underappreciated parts of Terwilliger's game is his passing. His seven assists were a mark of his great instincts and court-savvy.

"Finding open guys are just as good as scoring two points," Terwilliger said. "There's nothing better than finding guys cutting to the hoop for easy points. That's just as fun for me."

For at least one night, Terwilliger had to settle for beating Cook. But as far as Buckeye fans are concerned, hopefully one day he will have fun finding Cook cutting to the hoop for an easy basket.

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