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Intramural basketball: Dunk N Go Nuts stifles DPT Ninjas

BY MATTHEW CABEL | MARCH 27, 2012 6:30 AM

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Defense prevailed on both ends of the court Monday night as Dunk 'N' Go Nuts faced the DPT Ninjas in a co-rec intramural basketball playoff game.

Dunk overcame a slow start to win, 40-31, and head to the next round of the playoffs.

Neither team scored for the first minute and a half. Dunk ended the scoring drought by putting the ball in the paint and quickly surged to a 6-0 lead.

DPT didn't give up, though, and used good passing-lane penetration to keep it in the game. The team took advantage of poor Dunk offense to spark a run of its own run and went up 9-6, its largest — and last — lead of the night.

But after that run, it seemed as if none of the DPT's shots could drop. Dunk took advantage easily, out-rebounding DPT throughout the game. DPT continually rushed shots and had to run right back to the other end of the court.

"We played like we owned a brick store," DPT member Rachel Madsen said.

The defensive intensity of the game was apparent at halftime — Dunk only led 14-11 after 12 minutes of play had passed.

"I liked our zone defense," Dunk captain Nathaniel Gier said. "We tried to slow the game down and give people rest, kind of like a Bo Ryan Wisconsin team."

Dunk continued its strong defense in the second half, and its scoring picked up as well. The team went on a 15-8 run to gain a 29-19 lead, its largest of the night.

DPT picked up its own defensive pressure to create turnovers and implemented a full-court press that helped bring the game within 3 at 29-26. 

"We played good defense," DPT member Kristin Iehl said. "We just couldn't make any shots offensively."

DPT attempted what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer with under four minutes left. The ball hit the top of the backboard and fell through the twine, allowing the team to finally see momentum swing in its favor. This led to complaints by Dunk players and indecision between the two referees, who eventually deemed the ball out of bounds and waved off the basket.

"We all saw [the ball] hit the top," Iehl said. "I just didn't like [the referee] waiting to make the call."

Despite the DPT run, Gier never lost faith in his team. After the call, his team took advantage of DPT fouls and second-chance opportunities to lift itself to the next round of the playoffs.

"I wasn't that scared," he said. "We have good ball-handlers and a team set up for late-game situations exactly like these."


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