The Cardinals get first win behind captain


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Wednesday night marked the start of the intramural basketball season for both the Cardinals and the Bumblebees in the Men’s Open League.

But while both teams looked at the game as an easy way to gain momentum, the Cardinals managed to outlast the Bumblebees, 57-44, thanks to captain Brad Cook.

The contest started sluggishly — nearly four minutes elapsed before a single field goal swooshed.
With 10:34 remaining in the half, the Cardinals’ Johnny Biehl hit a wide open 3-point jumper.

But the Bumblebees answered when captain Jarret Tinman hit a 3.

With almost seven minutes left in the first half, the Bumblebees, plagued by turnovers, bad shooting, and terrible rebounding through most of the contest, went on a scoring tear. Behind Tinman and Jeremey Graves, the Bumblebees made easy buckets in transition.

“We need to push the ball more,” Tinman said. “We didn’t get as many fast breaks as we needed, which is unfortunate because that is our style of game.”

Luckily for the Cardinals, Cook took the game into his own hands.

He demanded the ball at the wing and dropped a dagger 3-pointer. The Bumblebees never led again.
Cook’s 13 first-half points put his squad up, 29-20, before halftime.

“We moved the ball well and hit most of our open shots,” he said. “We played great defense, which forced a lot of turnovers.”

Turnovers indeed stalled the Bumblebees’ offense.

“We didn’t play like a team,” Tinman said. “We needed to pick up the chemistry but couldn’t all game.”

Starting the second half, the Bumblebees’ offense seemed to come out with a changed attitude and a different approach. Darius Bowie, who went scoreless in the first half, came out and hit two consecutive shots, putting pressure on the Cardinals.

Tinman added a 3 to tighten up the score at 34-29. But the Bumblebees fell victim to the offensive rebounding of big man Matt Bopes.

Followed by an acrobatic fade-away bank shot by Cook, Biehl hit a 3, giving the Cardinals a 10-point lead.

It didn’t get much better for the Bumblebees, who resorted to fouling the Cardinals players toward the end. But spotty shooting by the Bumblebees killed their hopes of a comeback.

“Boxing out killed us. We couldn’t rebound all game,” Tinman said. “That put us in a hole early in the second half.”

Forcing the Cardinals to earn their points at the charity stripe seemed to work for a few minutes. But then Cook nailed two huge free throws to effectively seal the win.

“I knew we had the game won with about 21⁄2 minutes left,” he said. “They had to resort to fouling us, and after a while, we nailed our free throws.

“We need to continue to play the way we played tonight. With good ball movement and spacing, we should continue to build on this success for the remainder of the season.”

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