In what will likely prove a recurring theme throughout the Global Sports Hoops Showcase, attendance was kind of an issue Wednesday afternoon. This time, 25 fans were in attendance by tipoff -- somehow, a seven-person improvement over Tuesday's first game.
For the first time in the tournament, a team finally caught fire from the field, and even that was figurative. That figure being 45 percent. North Carolina Central was the first team to crest that, and did so in a rather entertaining fashion. There was #superhoop after #superhoop for the Eagles, and it was accompanied with a few #OMGDUNX (or is that #OMGDUNXes?). The tone was set by junior guard and certain All-Name Team Fun-To-Say honorable mention Ebuka Anyaorah, who shot a perfect 7-for-7 in the first half, including an #OMGDUNX and two #superhoops. Kansas State transfer Dominique Sutton took emotional control of the game in the second half with a pair of powerful #OMGDUNX of his own, lingering on the rim a little longer than he should have on one occasion and drawing a technical foul. (Incidentally, until just seconds remaining in the first half, Anyaorah and Sutton had combined for all 25 of the Eagles' points.)
Stephen F. Austin, on the other hand, was having none of that offensive success. The Lumberjacks didn't throw down a single slam during the game, and more importantly went 2-for-16 from three-point range, and one of those came with just seconds to go in the game. This comes on the heels of an 0-for-8 performance the previous night against Prairie View A&M.
On this site, rare is the game that has a more important line than the Red Line. Tonight, it was the three-point line that made the difference.
There was one other thing from the game that stood out to me, and I don't exactly know where to weave it into my narrative, but it's too important to not share. During the first half, Stephen F. Austin coach Danny Kaspar told center Jereal Scott, "Get your head up out of your ass" after he made a bad foul. This was probably a bad idea considering how the arena was empty. I'm sure coaches say way worse on a regular basis, but it's just a reminder that Our Game is not necessarily a beautiful one. (Another good reminder of that is how excited I got for a 45-percent shooting performance. This tournament sucks.)
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL 65, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 57 12/21/2011
STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 5-6 (0-0) -- D. Haymon 4-9 5-5 14; J. Scott 5-10 2-4 12; A. Bostic 3-11 4-4 11; J. Bright 1-4 4-5 6; D. Gardner 1-3 2-2 4; H. Bateman 0-1 0-0 0; T. Smith 3-3 0-0 6; J. King 0-2 0-0 0; K. Broussard 0-5 0-0 0; J. Parker 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 19-51 17-20 57. NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL 6-6 (1-0) -- D. Sutton 6-10 5-8 17; E. Anyaorah 7-11 2-4 18; R. Willis 4-10 1-4 11; E. Chapman 1-8 2-2 5; J. Ingram 4-8 0-0 11; D. Best 0-0 0-0 0; N. Chasten 1-2 0-0 2; T. Beaman 0-2 1-2 1; T. O'Neal 0-0 0-0 0; K. Jawara 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-51 11-20 65.
Three-point goals: SFA 2-16 (A. Bostic 1-3; D. Gardner 0-2; D. Haymon 1-6; J. Bright 0-1; K. Broussard 0-3; J. Parker 0-1), NCC 8-24 (D. Sutton 0-1; E. Anyaorah 2-5; R. Willis 2-3; N. Chasten 0-1; T. Beaman 0-2; E. Chapman 1-7; J. Ingram 3-5); Rebounds: SFA 34 (D. Haymon 9), NCC 20 (D. Sutton 11); Assists: SFA 8 (D. Gardner 6), NCC 15 (R. Willis 5); Total Fouls -- SFA 20, NCC 16; Fouled Out: SFA-None; NCC-None.