Game #9-105: Central Penn at Longwood LancersNovember 28, 2012 7:30 pm
Henry I. Willet, Jr. Hall
If you watch college basketball long enough then you eventually come across some strange things. One time I was at a Virginia-Georgia Tech game and the buzzer got stuck for five minutes. Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat with that buzzer still echoing through University Hall and, yes, my ears are likely permanently damaged from the incident. Wednesday night was another one of those really strange incidents as I traveled to my alma mater's match up with Central Penn.
To get from my work to Farmville it takes me about an hour and a half. Usually my wife, dad, or a friends make the journey with me. Most of the trip is down two-lane route 60, where deer are ready to spring out at a moment's notice. On Wednesday, my wife decided to go to the game. I swung by the house and we were on our way. We were about five minutes from campus when the pre-game show came on. Longwood's radio announcer, Scott Bacon, gave his usual welcome and said "for a game that was scheduled for a 7PM tip". I immediately looked at my wife and said, "Did he make it sound like that the game is being rescheduled or something?", she agreed. Scott went on to explain that Central Penn, Longwood's opponent, was lost.
REROUTE! REROUTE! Usually we get to the game right at tip-off or about 10 minutes before where we can grab an appetizer and a $2 beer in the Lancer Club hospitality room. But with Central Penn without a GPS and wandering the hills of Southside Virginia we decided to go to grab dinner and some drinks at McAdoos, which is a good ole, small town college bar.
My wife didn't attend too many games when she was a student at Longwood, so I told her the story of one particular game when we were students when the referees didn't show up. That's right folks, two teams (Longwood, Campbell), no referees. There was like an hour and half delay in that game, which allowed most of the fanbase to go across the street and gorge themselves with buffalo wings and Miller Lite. These are stories you simply can't make up and would never happen anywhere above the Red Line.
The game finally started about 35 minutes late. Central Penn must have had a heck of a warmup on the bus because they shot out to a four point lead right off the bat. I, for one, hate playing non-Division I teams. They just scare me. Longwood hasn't lost to one since 2004, but it just seems like you have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Wednesday was no exception with Central Penn. The Silver Knights were ranked number one in the country in something called the USCAA Division II. The Knights were undefeated against their level of competition, they lost to VMI earlier in the year, and averaged 90+ points per game. I certainly didn't want a track meet.
I've come to notice if the Division I team isn't sharp in these type of games then play becomes very sloppy. That was certainly the case on Wednesday, as Longwood had 25 turnovers. Head coach Mike Gillian was not a happy man. In the end, the game was never in question and pretty much an open practice for different line ups and experimentation. It was also the first game for projected starter and JUCO transfer Frank Holloway, who looked pretty rusty.
With the Lancers 88-75 victory, Longwood's latest sensation continued. No, no...it wasn't Gangham Style. Rather freshman big man Michael Kessens. Kessens is a Swiss native, a German citizen, and played junior ball in France. Yes, he's our own "International Man of Mystery". Due to the way Kessens stuffs the stat sheets, we've quickly dubbed him the "Swiss Army Knife". His dominance was no exception on Wednesday when he had 18 points, 17 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals. It was his fifth double-double in seven games this year. He continues to lead the Big South in rebounding and is now seventh in the country.
I'm really hoping Dartmouth finds their way to Farmville on Saturday... at LONGWOOD 88, CENTRAL PENN 75
LONGWOOD 2-5 (0-0) -- M. Kessens 8-12 2-2 18; T. Carey 7-16 1-2 17; N. Brown 3-7 5-7 12; D. Robinson 6-11 2-2 17; F. Holloway 3-7 2-5 8; K. Ziegler 2-5 5-6 9; J. Dublin 2-5 0-0 4; L. Woodhouse 0-1 0-0 0; J. Havenstein 1-1 0-0 2; A. Taylor 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 32-65 18-26 88.
Three-point goals: - , LONG 6-17 (T. Carey 2-7; D. Robinson 3-6; N. Brown 1-2; F. Holloway 0-1; L. Woodhouse 0-1); Rebounds: , LONG 49 (M. Kessens 17); Assists: , LONG 15 (N. Brown 6); Total Fouls -- , LONG 20; Fouled Out: -; LONG-None.