Monday, December 31, 2012

Cats foul their way to a loss

Tawaski King (32) - Photo by Mark Haskett
Another loss - to another bad Big South team. The Cats have now lost to both UNCA and Liberty (probably the worst team in the Big South with an RPI of 343 of 347 teams).

The Catamounts committed 19 personal fouls against the Liberty Flames, sending them to the free throw line for 22 attempts, where they made 18 points (81.8%).

However, it was the technical foul (for calling an excessive time out) assessed against the Cats by Scott Smith (son of Dean) with 5 seconds remaining - that was a game changer.

While attempting an inbound play under the Liberty backboard, with a 1 point lead and 5 seconds on the clock, the Cats were assessed with a technical foul, that sent the Flames to the free throw line for the final time.  That technical foul was the measure of victory for Liberty.

One point down, Liberty's Tavares Speaks sunk two final free throws, giving the Flames a one point victory, 63-62 in the Ramsey Center.

Trey Sumler stated that a "time-out" was not called, but a set play was called & repeated three times - the set play is named Catamount.  "Catamount" - "Catamount" - "Catamount" - was the only thing said according to Sumler.  Smith said he heard "time-out" "time-out" "time-out" called out three times, and of course we all know, the officials are never wrong.  Now in addition to glasses,  I guess they also need a hearing aid check prior to game time.  

Not a great way to end the game, it's certainly not good, when an officials' call decided the outcome. But this game was lost prior to the technical, it was lost by excessive fouls and cold shooting by the Catamounts.

Not having played in 10 days, the Catamount shooting was colder than ice all afternoon. The Cats hit only 23 of 61 field goal attempts for 37.7% and were able to hit only 4 of 23 attempted 3-point shots, for a meager 17.4%. Tom Tankelewicz, this season's three point ace, went 0-6 in treys, prior to fouling out of the game.  The Cats were also out rebounded by 10 by the Flames 36-26.

The lone stat that provided the ability for the Catamounts to remain in the game and stay close; then tie & take the lead in the final minutes was Liberty's forced turnovers. The Flames committed 23 turnovers, most of which the Catamounts failed to take advantage of, due to their poor shooting on the night.

Trey Sumler was the high scorer in the game, with 23 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, & 3 steals; Tawaski King put up 12; and James Sinclair 11 points.  The Flames were lead by Tavares Speaks, coming off the bench with 13 points and 2 rebounds.

The Cats now travel to the Citadel on January 5th.  This game is now very much up in the air. The 3-7 Bulldogs play at Clemson on Tuesday.  The Citadel has only one Div I win, that came in their season opening game over VMI in Charleston.

Read the article about the time out contrevesy in the Asheville Citizen Times here

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