Sunday, March 13, 2011

Anatomy of a crushing defeat

Photo credit: John Tlumacki / Boston Globe | Stony Brook cheerleaders and fans react to the foul call that gave Boston U.'s John Holland (on the floor) two free throws to put his team ahead with 2.4 seconds left. Stony Brook's Dallis Joyner, left, throws his hands up behind BU's Matt Griffin. (Mar. 12, 2011)
The key plays in the final minutes of fifth-seeded Stony Brook's 56-54 loss to Boston University Saturday:
With his team leading 54-52, Stony Brook's Chris Martin backed in and barely missed a spinning bank shot. BU star John Holland rebounded it, Dallis Joyner fouled him, and Holland's two free throws with 1:03 left tied the score. (Stony Brook, which held BU to two field goals in the game's first 15 minutes-plus, had led by 15.)
After a timeout with 41.2 seconds to play, Stony Brook's Bryan Dougher had the ball on the left side of the court and Danny Carter set a pick near the top of the key. Dougher drove defender D.J. Irving into the pick, but Holland switched off Carter and tied up Dougher with 31.4 seconds to play, giving BU the crucial final possession.
Holland set up near the baseline on the right side, guarded by Preye Preboye, who tried to deny him the ball. Irving took a handoff from Matt Griffin above the top of the key with 10 seconds to play, and with six seconds left, guarded by Dougher, Irving drove at Holland to set up a classic back-door situation. When Preboye moved into denial position, Holland cut to the hoop and took Irving's bounce pass between Dougher and Preboye.
The 6-7 Joyner met him at the side of the lane, and as Holland took a dribble toward the right and squeezed past Joyner at the baseline, the Stony Brook forward -- who had his hands straight up -- made minimal contact with Holland from behind with his lower body. Referee Bob Adams called a foul with 2.4 seconds left.
"I thought he traveled, first of all. I'm not sure about that,'' Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell said. "You would like the players to decide a game, but we had our opportunities.''
Said Holland, "I don't think I traveled. I haven't seen it, so who knows? It was fortunate.''
After Holland's two free throws gave the Terriers their first lead, BU called timeout. On the inbounds play, Dougher sprinted across the midcourt line to receive Martin's pass, took two dribbles and put up a one-hander from about 52 feet over Irving. It hit the left side of the back rim -- a few inches from a game-winning bank shot -- and SBU's season was over.