Where the hell has this team been all year? The first half was probably our best half of basketball all year. We could not do anything wrong. We moved the ball, and worked it into the post where Hendrix dominated. They couldn't collapse on him because Riley wouldn't miss anything within 30 feet. Jemison was making jumpshots. Coleman was active on both ends of the floor. Rico did an adequate job of taking care of the ball. Our transition offense was great, and our half court offense was great. On the rare occasion we missed a shot, we out hustled them for the rebound and scored on the second chance. Defensively, we created turnovers, and contested all of their perimeter shots. They tried to drive in, but routinely got their shots blocked as they were undersized in the low post. It was 14-0 before the gators even scored, and we stretched our lead out to 42-14. Unfortunately, we should have been able to coast and rest some guys in the second half, but that was not the case.
We got sloppy with the ball at times in the second half, and we had a stretch where we shot 2 for 8 from the free throw line. The defensive intensity from the first half seemed to disappear, as the gators picked up their intensity to a whole new level. We turned it over against the press, and allowed Florida to drive the lane unchallenged and knock down some open 3's, and next thing you know, the lead was down to 6. I thought we waited way too long to call a timeout when Florida was making their run.
Hendrix and Riley would not be denied the win. Florida cut it to 6, and Hendrix came up with a huge block, and Riley made a 3 at the other end. The game was never really in doubt again from that point on.
Riley is really playing great right now. We know he is good when he's making his shots, but he even gave good effort on the defensive end tonight, especially in the first half. He tied the SEC tournament record with 8 three pointers.
Down low, Hendrix was dominant, and he even made 8 of 10 from the free throw line. Yamene actually showed some moves in the post and played good defense and worked the glass, but he couldn't make a free throw. I love Jemison's effort, and the way he follows his shots.
Unfortunately, while Hendrix actually made some free throws, the rest of the team stunk it up at the line. This was a huge factor in Florida getting back into the game, and we're going to have to be more consistent from the charity stripe if we're going to continue this Cinderella run through the SEC tournament.
Up next, we face the cow college to our west in the second round. m$u got a bye in the first round, so $tansfield's semi-pro athletes should be very well rested. We'll need another great defensive effort to keep Jamont Gordon in check and stay in the game. Tip off is set for 6:30 CT on Raycom sports.
I will not be able to make it to Atlanta until Saturday. Hopefully we can make it that far. The good thing about the way the bracket worked out, is if I do go, that means most of the mi$$ $tate inbreds will be gone by the time I get there.