Ramblin' Man

Different headline, same story.

I changed it when I edited the piece. It is obviously influenced by the Allman Brothers CD the wife gave me for Christmas, which was the soundtrack for the drive to and from Lewisburg.

Here's what this piece is: I kept running notes through the game on the old laptop ... these are those. I originally posted them completely unedited shortly after the game. They have now been cleaned up slightly. Things like spellcheck and a little formatting; no major changes.

The idea was to post a "recorded live" sort of thing. If you like it enjoy; If it sucks, that is OK too. Either way, I doubt I will do it again. It was a pain in the ass and made it hard to watch the game. This concept is best left to those who can touch type, methinks.

Anyhow, here's how it happened:

Game time ... 2 p.m. ... a surprisingly decent crowd still coming in

Surprise in the starting lineup, Griffin starting at point instead of Badmus. It was not in the pregame notes, but Badmus was sat down by Pat Flannery for what is being called a “minor violation of a team rule.” He will play, but will not start.

Does HC coaching staff suspects he is hurt. Remember he was out earlier in the season with a hip problem.

First BU possession, Torey Thomas called for a handcheck guarding Bettencourt.

After HC turnover at other end, Lufkin picks up for his first foul 1:08 into this one trying to stop Charles Lee on the break. HC does not want Lufkin in foul trouble.

Bucknell turns it over for fourth time on fifth possession. Remember last year in the tournament, Bucknell’s 28 turnovers kept the Bison from blowing it open.

Off HC’s first made shot, they press on D. Ralph has written about his dislike of full court pressure, but it worked against Bucknell in that tournament game, so why not.

At first media timeout, Bucknell leads 4-2, thanks to 4-for-4 shooting at the line, They also have 5 turnovers and have taken just one shot from the field. Holy Cross is 1-for-3 from the field with 4 turnovers.

A big crowd on hand, biggest I have seen in Sojka. Bucknell would like to play good game to bring the freebie folks back.

Badmus checks in at the first TV timeout.

Donald Brown in for the Bison, picks up two very quick fouls.

BU’s first field goal comes on nice post move by Darren Mastropaolo at the 13:57 mark, giving Bison a 6-4 lead.

13 minute mark, two teams combine 13 turnovers (HC-7), just 10 points.

12:03 Lee for three, bring first obligatory T-shirt toss.

11:31, Lee running the break after nifty outlet pass from McNaughton, lays in in and draws Lufkin’s second personal. Willard has to sit Lufkin. 30 seconds later, Thomas gets his second, trying to drive through three BU defenders, bringing freshman Pat Doherty off the bench.

At the other end, Bettencourt drains a three. BU now on 9-0 run, two treys sandwiched around old fashioned three-point play by Lee. BU 15-6.

Doherty’s first foul, at 7:38, puts BU in the bonus. Willard is going with both freshman, Clifford and Doherty on the floor. Bucknell is not pulling away but they are getting guys some rest. This Bucknell team has the depth to do that, which helps wear people down in the second half and also is probably a factor in why they are winning tight games at the end.

Badmus hits front end, misses the second, BU 21-13, then schools Doherty, picking the freshman’s pocket near midcourt and taking it in for a layup and a 10-point lead.

So far, Clifford appears better than advertised. He is holding his own against McNaughton on the defensive end. The kid is 6-10, and he also checks in at a defensive-end-like 265 pounds. Despite Lufkin on the bench for almost eight minutes so far, at the TV timeout with 3:42 to go first half, McNaughton (0-2) still has not scored. BU up, 24-16.

37.7 to go, Hamilton on a breakaway, Badmus comes from behind, blocks the layup, is called for the most incredibly bogus flagrant foul ever called. Who is this ref? It is a horrible call. Horrible. Hamilton makes both, then before HC can inbound the ball, John Hurley gets hit with a technical after shoving McNaughton with his elbow while jockeying for position before officials even handed the ball to HC to inbound.

HC gets ball back ... plays for one shot, down by 12, why? They can’t get a shot off ... Shot clock violation gives BU the ball with 2.7 seconds to go in the half.

McNaughton’s heave from just inside the halfcourt like draws glass and nothing else.

At the half, Bucknell up 30-18.

In the media room at the half, the discussion over chicken wings and pizza revolves around that intentional foul call. The consensus: it was about the worst intentional foul call anyone has seen. Some even argue it was the worst call they have ever seen, period.

The ref who made the call is a guy named David Walker. There are some guys here who see a lot of games: John Feinstein, Dave Jones of The Patriot-News, Tom Housenick of the Sunbury paper … none of us have ever seen this guy before. The guess is he is a rookie.

Second half:

HC is going inside, First two buckets come from Lufkin and Hurley

In between, a reverse dunk by McNaughton, his first bucket of the game, at the 18:16 mark.

15:30 to go, Badmus going in for a layup is hammered. No intentional call this time by Walker, though the contact was certainly harder than on the one he called on Badmus. It is, though, the right call.

At the first TV timeout, HC has crawled within 8, 32-24. Lufkin has 4 of the 6 points for the Crusaders.

14:48, Lufkin picks up his third foul, just after a Hamilton trey cuts BU lead to 33-27. Darren Mastropaolo makes both to push it back to 8. An HC turnover and a Bettencourt three later, the lead is back in double digits.

Walker calls a travel on Chris Niesz on what looks like a decent jump stop.

12:36 Lufkin looks like he got all ball blocking Lee’s shot. Official disagrees and Lufkin sits with four fouls.

At the other end Thomas looks like he walked, Walker says no, Niesz fouled him. Fans are all over Walker now.

11:48, media timeout: HC within six again, 38-32.

Kevin Hyland gets a little runner to go over McNaughton, 38-34.

A steal off the press at midcourt leads to a Hamilton trey, 38-37 and Flannery quick calls a timeout with 11:12 to play.

11:02McNaughton hammered from behind going to the hole. Walker calls foul, but no intentional. Flannery can be heard pleading “They foul us every time we shoot a layup.”

9:23 Walker calls a foul on Badmus as Thomas appears to walk. Boos cascade through Sojka.

8:38 McNaughton hits 1 of 2, Bucknell lead back to 6, 43-37, even though they have no field goals in recent memory.

Lufkin back in unnoticed around the 8 min mark.

6:18, Lee drives, is hammered, but LeBranch calls him for a charge. Says one reporter of the refs: "This is northern tier league stuff."

The Northern Tier, for those not familiar with Pa., is the wooded areas at the top of the state of Pa where deer outnumber humans.

Less anyone think we’re bashing Northern Tier hoops, the area did produce Maryland and NBA player turned politician Tom McMillan and a kid named Phil Hickey who played for Notre Dame a few years ago. They play some decent ball for small, country schools, but they are seldom seen deep in the state playoffs.

Regardless, it was not meant as a compliment.

4:39 Lufkin tries to draw a charge on Donald Brown and fouls out. Brown has just made three big plays in a row: First and athletic follow on a blocked Charles Lee shot for a 46-37 lead, BU’s first field goal in a long time. At the other end he blocks a layup, then comes down and draws Lufkin's fifth and hits both free throws to push BU lead back to double digits, 48-37.

The New York Times has a stringer here to do a story. They won’t drive to uptown Manhattan for a Columbia game, but they found Lewisburg somehow.

3:56, with both in the bonus, this is looking like a free throw shooting contest down the stretch.

The announced crowd of 3,897 is the largest in Bucknell history. Hard to tell if it is the free admission or the win over Pittsburgh that brought them out. Having grown up nearby, I am betting on the free admission.

Despite no tickets, that is probably a pretty accurate number. Bucknell had folks with clickers at the entrances as folks came in.

2:05, Does not look like HC has a miracle comeback in them. Bucknell is too good at the line and HC doesn't have the offensive firepower.

1:48 Clifford’s first appearance of the second half. The kid played well in the first half and it is surprising he got no more minutes than this in the second half.

1:10, Badmus layup is blocked below the rim, Walker calls goaltending from midcourt as he tries to catch up with the play. May be the cherry on Walker’s dreadful officiating sundae.

Holy Cross shooting below 30 percent. Noting that here in case a couple garbage buckets push them above.

:15 Bettencourt stands at midcourt and dribbles out the clock.

Final: Bucknell 59-43

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