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Intramural basketball: DRB keeps undefeated season alive

BY MATTHEW CABEL | MARCH 01, 2012 6:30 AM

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Intramural basketball team DRB was down by 10 points at halftime — a situation it had not found itself in during its two previous games.

But Joe Maigaard and Justin Blackburn took the reins beginning with the first dribble of the second half and kept DRB's undefeated streak alive. DRB (3-0) breezed past JIYF (3-1), 55-42, on Wednesday night in the Field House.

The game was one of streaky scoring from the opening tip. Both teams established the tempo of the game early and scored 5 points apiece before DRB broke off an 8-0 run. It looked as if it would be another blowout victory for DRB, which won its last game by 33 points.

But JIYF didn't go away, and it went on a 12-point run of its own.

"In the first half, we were out of sorts," DRB captain Connor Blythe said. "We really weren't playing together very well."

DRB rushed its shots, couldn't seem to handle JIYF's press defense, and was out-rebounded.

Meanwhile, JIYF's shooters were finding most of their points from beyond the arc.

Maigaard converted a lay-up that appeared to get DRB back on track, but a technical foul gave JIYF 2 free points and its largest lead of the game, 27-17. JIYF ended the half on a 19-5 run.

This wasn't the case in the game's second half.

Maigaard took control with a clean cut down the right side of the lane and hit a quick lay-up to begin his team's comeback.

"I had good passes from my teammates and got easy lay-ups and a 3," Maigaard said. "That really got my confidence going."

Maigaard was quick to deflect attention away from his scoring, though, and cited the team's defense as a large factor in its win. DRB picked up the pace both on offense and defense; the team fought harder for rebounds and contested JIYF's shots more intensely.

DRB's Blackburn chipped in on the scoring as well by channeling his inner Matt Gatens; he converted three-straight 3-point attempts.

"[Blackburn] really caught fire," JIYF member Peter Corken said.

A 12-0 DRB run gave the team a lead it would never relinquish, but JIYF never found itself completely out of the game. The team came as close as 5 points late in the second half.

But Blackburn snagged a rebound off a missed Maigaard free throw and converted a free lay-up. His steal on the ensuing possession gave his team a 9-point lead with 1:20 left to seal the game.

"We rushed too many shots," Corken said. "We gave them too many looks, and even though it was a 6-point game, we just decided to foul and gave them free throws. That let them get more buckets on us."

Blythe said was his team's best win of the young intramural basketball season.

"We haven't been down like that since our first game, when we were down 10 points, and never that late in the game," he said. "… Overcoming adversity was key."


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