Usually, I don't attend live games when a team is above the red line. I've grown to prefer the smaller setting that many of Our Team's gyms have. Part of this is because there were no major schools near where I grew up, and therefore, if I wanted to watch Division One basketball, I needed to do so in such a setting. This continued to grow on me, and even when I had the chance to do so, I continued to attend home games at schools below the red line.
Yesterday, that all changed, as I took the Metro to the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, DC to see the American University Eagles take on the Georgetown Hoyas. The differences between schools above the red line and their counterparts below have been documented in previous posts, but upon walking into the Verizon Center, there were many noticeable differences between the two schools. Georgetown shares the Verizon Center with the NBA's Washington Wizards and NHL's Washington Capitals. It seats over 20,000 people (although half of those seats were empty today). In contrast, American's home gym, Bender Arena, seats 4,500. Many of the players on Georgetown's roster have dreams of the NBA, and if offered the opportunity, will leave school early to play professionally without graduating. In the history of the Patriot League, of which American is a member, only one player has taken that path. The two schools were meeting for the 52nd time, and Georgetown had dominated the Eagles, winning 43 of the previous 51 match-ups.
The Eagles hung tight with the Hoyas during the first half. A pair of #superhoops from John Schoof gave the Eagles an early 10-9 lead. However, Georgetown responded, going on a 10-6 run to take a 20-16 lead towards the end of the first half. It looked like Georgetown was going to blow the game open, but the Eagles responded and at the half, the score was 32-26 Hoyas. I was pleasantly surprised at the score, unlike the Georgetown fans behind me, who commented "We should be killing them right now."
In the second half, the Hoyas fans behind me got their wish. Schoof hit a jumper to trim the lead to four, but that was as close as the Eagles would get the rest of the way, as the Hoyas went on an 8-2 run to stretch the lead to double-digits. While I hoped that the Eagles would have a huge comeback in them, it was not to be, and the lead continued to grow, reaching as high as 28 late in the game. The final was a 26 point differential, 81-55. Charles Hinkle led the Eagles with 16 points.
As for my experience above the red line, I much prefer going to see Our Teams play. I enjoy the experience that the smaller gyms provide, and can't wait to get back into that atmosphere.
at GEORGETOWN 81, AMERICAN 55 12/17/2011
AMERICAN 8-4 (0-0) -- B. Jolivette 5-14 0-0 11; D. Munoz 1-4 0-1 2; J. Schoof 4-9 2-2 12; C. Hinkle 6-13 2-3 16; S. McCormack 4-5 0-0 8; T. Wroblicky 1-3 0-0 2; R. Grafft 0-1 0-0 0; M. Bersch 1-3 0-0 3; D. Fisher 0-0 0-0 0; W. Simon II 0-1 0-0 0; J. Hill 0-1 0-0 0; K. Kager 0-0 0-0 0; W. Flood Jr. 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 22-54 5-8 55. GEORGETOWN 9-1 (0-0) -- M. Starks 6-8 2-2 18; H. Thompson 6-12 3-3 15; J. Clark 3-7 2-2 9; H. Sims 7-10 3-4 17; G. Whittington 1-2 0-2 3; O. Porter 3-6 2-4 8; N. Lubick 2-3 0-0 4; J. Trawick 1-1 3-3 5; A. Bowen 0-1 0-0 0; M. Hopkins 1-1 0-0 2; J. Caprio 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-51 15-20 81.
Three-point goals: AMER 6-23 (C. Hinkle 2-7; J. Hill 0-1; M. Bersch 1-3; B. Jolivette 1-4; D. Munoz 0-1; J. Schoof 2-7), GU 6-16 (J. Clark 1-5; H. Thompson 0-2; M. Starks 4-6; A. Bowen 0-1; G. Whittington 1-2); Rebounds: AMER 19 (R. Grafft 4), GU 31 (O. Porter 10); Assists: AMER 12 (D. Munoz 4), GU 18 (H. Sims 6); Total Fouls -- AMER 20, GU 18; Fouled Out: AMER-None; GU-None.