Another game, another harrowing oh-so-close Seton Hall loss. The Pirates navigated the Appalachian Trail last night - only making a quick pit stop at Mohegan Sun - and journeyed their way through UConn territory, only to come up short once again, losing 71-63. Like the weary, and probably exhausted, explorer Ponce de Leon, we are still looking for our first victory to get us over the hump, still looking for that proverbial Fountain of Youth. Were we close to finding the fountain? You betcha. Heck, Ben and I even felt a few splashes last night as we watched in agony as our beloved Pirates fall short yet again.
However, all was not (Paradise) lost. His Holy See had yet another monster game on the boards, grabbing rebounds left and right and JT went toe-to-toe with "Friend 4 Life" UConn point guard Kemba Walker. On a side note - and no disrespect to Jordan - but don't you think he could get a little more of a "BIG EAST" tattoo than that? It sounds like something my little sister would get with her 14 year old BFFs from high school. LOL.
But the real star of the evening was Jeff Robinson. Living up to his father's - and Ben's - nickname, JRob proved to all who watched why he could easily become the Beast of the East. Pulling down 9 rebounds - including 4 offensive boards - and putting up 17 points on 60% shooting, Jeff clearly had his best game as a Pirate. He even went 3-4 from the line! So while JRob is becoming the player we knew he could be and Pope continues to be a force to be reckoned with, the last of the treacherous trio to fully live up to expectations has been Neon Keon. Although he got the start last night, "Sports Center" still seems like the 3:00am rerun rather than 11:00pm primetime showing. It's like he's still on Hannah Storm's level while we all want him to be side by side with Scott Van Pelt and Kenny Maine.
However, not all the blame can fall solely on George Bodenheimer. Although UConn is indeed a talented and quick team, we made them look like Jeff Gordon at the Daytona 500 as we simply watched UConn run up and down the floor scoring transition baskets at will. Another, albeit unusual, area of weakness for us last night was our inability to get to the foul line. All season long we have been complaining about our awful free throw shooting. Well, for the first time tonight, we simply could not get to the line enough! Brother John shot 2-2, JRob was 3-4, yet Jordan, Keon, Harvey, and Jeremy combined to go 1-2 from the line. On the opposite side of the court, Dyson and Walker combined to shoot 11-14.
Saturday presents another opportunity for us to get over the hump against a talented Cincinnati team. And once we do, Ben and I will be jumping headfirst into that fountain.