Aggies Win On Senior Night

I'm not huge on sentimentallity, but Senior night is always nice and it's good to recognize the players who've finished up their eligibility with the Aggie Blue on. This year's Senior crop of athletes (4) Ross, Penigar, Puzey and Johnson were announced as all being on track to graduate this spring. While basketball is a big money sport in college, it sure is nice to see these guys taking what's there for them and leaving with a degree. It's hard to overestimate it's worth.

The game started out with UoP getting an early edge (slight one) but the teams mostly traded baskets. The Aggies finished the half strong, though and went in with a 41-30 lead.

The second half went the Aggies way for the first 15 minutes as they stretched the lead to as many as 17 (by my count) only to see a persistant Tiger team keep clawing their way back in. Demitrius Jackson caught the attention of the Aggie faithful for most of the night and his effectiveness was very erratic. I think he forced his game and often went from a good play to a stupid foul in the blink of an eye. Johnson for UoP had early fould trouble, but rebounded in a big way in the 2nd half, finishing with 19, scoring everything inside. It proved to be too little too late, even with the Aggies missing a wide variety of free throws down the stretch. The final was an Aggie win, 75-70.

I thought the seniors all played well in their final home appearance. DP would pay real money right now to have a couple of his dunks go down, but he was effective and hit some nice shots as the shot clock ran out.

Toraino Johnson came really close to not scoring in his last home game. He tossed in a late free throw for his only point but did get 4 assists in his 26 minutes. He just didn't seem to be as effective as usual against a very tall/big UoP squad.

Mike Puzey was a warrior but had his typical vacuous box score that doesn't do justice to how hard he works. I would have liked to seem him with a few moments in the sun, but his efforts weren't lost on this fan, for what it's worth.

Ross was just 3-10, but he hit an early 3 that got people's attention, and that was big. He finished with 10 points and a very nice defensive game. I think his early make se the tone for the Aggies who hit a respectable 6-17 from downtown. Not great, but good enough.

All four seniors started which was a real nice tribute to them by Stew.

Others that contributed big in the win were Mark Brown who went an excellent 5-7 from the field for 15 points and 3 assists with just one turnover in his 32 minutes. He handled Jackson really well and schooled him a couple times for wide open jumpers.

Nate Harris played some huge minutes and was the force that got the Aggies the nice lead at the end of the 1st half. He finished with 8 (3-4) points and 6 boards in just 17 minutes. He didn't fare any better than anyone else trying to stop UoP's Johnson in the 2nd half, which isn't usual for him. What can you say for a Freshman with those kind of expectations?

The game was a lot of fun, as fun as I've been to this year and it was nice to see the UoP players acknowlegde the crowd at times. Both teams appeared to have fun tonight, which is how the game should be played. I thought Kemper was low-class, but beyond that... it was all good.

Hats off to our guys for their successful run through the regular season. 3rd place is no disgrace, though it would be nice if SBSU would win a few more preseason games to make it look more legitimate. Having a .500 team win the league just looks bad. I've had my doubts about how well we can do in Anahiem, but I'm sure that there isn't a team in the league we can't handle. I don't know that we could do anything in the NCAA this year, but you can't discount the experience that it would bring for our players returning next year.

Go Aggies. Earn that BW trophy... unfortunately the one that really counts. This fan still wants to Dance!


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