Game #9-057: Hiwassee at Charleston Southern BuccaneersNovember 15, 2012 7:30 pm
When I made the commitment to join a team for TMM9, I wanted to make sure I could get to as many games as I could, but not to the point where it would become too much of a strain on other things in my life, with my job being one of them. Being a nine-to-fiver, it makes it easy to be able to catch games after I get off work. Wilmington and Charleston are around two hours away, giving me chance to get to the schools in those cities just in time after getting off of work.
However, there are those times when you have to work late for whatever reason which can throw a wrench into your plans. I had originally planned to go Wednesday to The Citadel to see them host Montreat. My work had other plans, as I was given a task around 4 p.m. that had to be done by the next day. I will not get into the tedious aspect of editing in GIS, but let's just say, there was no way I was going to be able to make it to a game in Charleston.
I was disappointed since it looks like The Game is going to be hotly contested this year and I want to be able to contribute as much as I can. The Charleston Classic would be starting up this week, but I had planned to go see it on Sunday, so there were not many midweek options for me to make up a game.
That was until I saw that Charleston Southern had pushed back the start time of its game with Hiwassee College from 5:30 to 7:30. That time switch was perfect and it would give me a chance to get to see another Big South school in person in the early part of the season.
I knew seeing the Buccaneers against Hiwassee was probably not going to produce the most competitive game. The Tigers are in the USCAA, which I have never actually heard of before, and had already been trounced by USC-Upstate 90-36.
Charleston Southern really started to grow on me last year; they were a fun team to watch getting up and down the floor. Kelvin Martin became my favorite player on the season with his hustle and flying around the court on both sides of the ball. He was the only senior on that team meaning his play and leadership would be missed, but that was the only loss for a Bucs team that is predicted to be the best in the Big South.
Another part of CSU that has grown on me is the CSU Field House, or Buc Dome, which several of us TMMers went on about how small the place is. While diminutive in size, I can't really complain about paying seven bucks and sitting courtside.
While sitting so close has the advantages of being right on top of the game, you have to pay attention at all times. This was reinforced when Hiwassee's Joel Bailey ended up running into the first row a minute into the game.
The game that I thought would be over quickly turned out to be very competitive in the first half. During warm-ups, I saw several Hiwassee players airballing threes or missing badly, but once the game started they started out hot from beyond the arc. CSU was keeping pace as well and the game was tied at 15 at the first media timeout.
I had the thought that CSU would start to pull away with their backcourt stars of Saah Nimley and Arlon Harper, but It was the frontcourt that was starting to pour in the points. Paul Gombwer only attempted four threes all of last year, but he looked the part of a stretch power forward in this game, sinking two threes in the first few minutes.
Hiwassee did not have an answer on defense for stopping CSU, but they were keeping the game close with defensive lapses by the Bucs, which had head coach Barclay Radebaugh none too happy on the sidelines. He kept jawing orders at his players and called a few timeouts in frustration, but the defense was nowhere near what he wanted it to be when CSU led 55-43 at the half.
Whatever adjustments coach Radebaugh made seemed to motivate the Bucs on defense in the 2nd half. After Hiwassee scored the first bucket, CSU went on a 15-0 run to put away any chance that this game would be a Black Line Upset.
Charleston Southern would cruise to a 105-69 victory and while the game did not give me a true view of what this team could be, it still gave me an opportunity to watch what will be an exciting team again this year.