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Purple Cobras win intramural hoops opener

BY MATT COZZI | FEBRUARY 01, 2010 7:30 AM

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The Globo Gym Purple Cobras didn’t have the start it was seeking in its intramural season-opener, but the players got the result they desired.

In what proved to be a tight contest, they emerged victorious over North on Sunday afternoon, 43-33.

Sloppiness was the theme of the matchup for the entire first half, which included frequent air balls and several turnovers by both clubs. But though the two teams came out somewhat rusty, both squads got back into the groove as the game went along.

The North players, who kept the game close until late in the second half, are thinking positively despite an opening loss.

“First competitive game in a while, so we were a little rusty,” UI freshman Jeremiah Hagen said after his team’s downfall. “Give us a few more games, and we’ll definitely flow together.”

He led North with 12 points, and team captain Kevin Smith, also a UI freshman, chipped in 10 points.

With a little under eight minutes remaining, North cut the deficit to five points at 28-23. But a combination of turnovers and poor fouls allowed the Purple Cobras to pull away, mounting a 10-point lead when the final buzzer sounded.

UI freshman Brian Bergman, who led the Purple Cobras with a game-high 14 points, is encouraged after opening the season with a victory.

“At first, it was kind of rough,” he said. “We all know we can play, so we just have to get used to each other as the season goes on.”

Freshmen Adam Netwal, Joe Vens, and Blake Anderson, who scored 11, seven, and five points, respectively, also played well.

With the score 40-33 with 1:46 to go, North needed an extra push to pull closer, and it attempted to create turnovers. However, the lead built by the Purple Cobras proved to be insurmountable.

Both teams’ players praised each other for their efforts, and they hope to have some more good games for the remainder of the season.

“They were a good team,” Netwal said. “They caused some trouble defensively, but we turned it around.”

Meanwhile, Hagen said one of the problems North had was the lack of depth, but he said that didn’t affect the outcome.

“They hustled all the way,” he said. “Playing the full 28 minutes can be tiring.”

Like many of his teammates, Netwal was just happy to be back on the hardwood with the Purple Cobras, who look to improve to 2-0 when they take the court again on Feb. 14. The league will not have any Sunday afternoon contests next week because of the Super Bowl.

“It feels good to be out here,” he said. “First time we played together, so we were a little off at first, but once we got in a groove, we played well.”


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