Wednesday, November 15, 2006

O Brother! Tops Clip Dawgs, 70-67

“Sing in me, O muse!”

The Toppers/Dawgs match up came only as a result of a clause in former WKU and current UGA coach Dennis Felton’s contract at WKU. Said contract automatically enacted a four game home-and-home series with Felton’s new school if he ever left WKU, thus instituting this current series. Both teams had high hopes going into to the third installment of the series. Both had walloped their opening opponents much like Big Dan Teague might club an unsuspecting Everett McGill at an impromptu outdoor picnic. For a November match up, this felt like big game—say, a 9,000 hectacre-lake-sized game.

Say, any of you boys smithies?
The Tops were shackled early by turnovers. They played like their legs were chained to one another. They committed 16 first half miscues which allowed UGA to get up nine more first half shots than did WKU. Both teams shot over 50% from Three, but UGA made five more field goals en route to a 43-36 halftime lead. The Tops got up two more shots than did UGA in the second half and held the Dawgs to 27% FG shooting.

I am the Man of Constant Sorrow.
And the man we are referring to is Dennis Felton. For a team to lead literally 99% of a game and not come away with a victory is painful. To do it at home in an important non-conference game against your former employer is enough to make a man choke on his gopher.

He's bona fide.
Watch lots of games this season and make a list of wing players that are better than WKU guard Courtney Lee. He is a super athlete, can shoot the Three, drives the ball, has a mid-range game, shoots 85% from the line, and plays great defense. He is for real.

Well, I don't want Fop! I'm a Dapper Dan man!
Topper F Daniel Emerson does a lot of work inside, but he carried WKU in the first half with 3-4 Three-point shooting that kept Western in the game early. He finished with 14 points and 6 rebs.

We're in a tight spot!
With 6.07 to play, UGA led 65-55 and looked to have finally put the Toppers in the noose. But, the Tops were able to dam the river and sweep the dogs away with a rush of eight straight points helped by some slippery UGA turnovers in crunch time. From there, Tyrone Brazelton tied the game with a floater, and WKU made 3-4 FT's down the stretch to pull out the win.

The sy-reen song of victory was sweet for Darrin Horn’s Hilltoppers last evening. WKU has opened the season with two straight road wins for the first time since 1953-54. I've spoken my piece and counted to three, so click here for more on the WKU-UGA tilt if need be.

Last Night's GOI
--Wake Forest 86, at Bucknell 83. Tough loss for the Bison. WF has hope.
--at Northwestern 49, DePaul 39. And I had DePaul in my preseason bracket.
--at Texas Tech 93, UALR 59. UALR backs up the Akron win with a huge dud.
--Air Force 69, vs Long Beach 68. The Falcons did get a test as predicted, but survived.
--at Marquette 87, Detroit 45. MU sent a clear message that the Idaho State game was not indicative of their team.
--at Butler 60, Indiana 55. Butler now owns wins over fellow in-state clubs ND and IU.

Tonight's GOI
--Georgetown at Vanderbilt. Good early test for the highly ranked Hoyas.
--BYU at UCLA. A lot of folks like BYU in the Mountain West this season. Tough match up here.
--Nevada at Oregon State. These are the types of games Nevada needs to keep the at-large resume in neat order.
--Air Force at Stanford. This is a nice game out West. Whoever wins makes a statement.
--Kansas State at Rutgers. Two middling Big Six schools looking to establish early momentum.
--Winthrop at North Carolina. The Eagles SHUT DOWN Iona last night 57-38.