2008-09 CRC Tournament >> Results Press Coverage
By Kurt Stubbs
Cancer Research Classic
WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 3, 2009 -- In a game that lacked intensity for much of the first three quarters, it certainly didn’t lack emotion for the last 10 to 11 minutes. Both teams were warranted technicals in the final eight minutes including a lot of rough play and screaming fans on both sides.
Through the rough play, the Purple Eagles (9-2) found a way to get to the line, convert and garner quite a few stops to pull away for a 69-57 win over Baltimore St. Frances (12-1).
“Coach Karcher and I have decided we want to make this a yearly thing, and it worked out well that we played each other in Wheeling,” relayed Gonzaga chief Steve Turner. We live pretty close to each other and these kids all know each other through playing together or against each other in AAU ball. So, yeah, it was a little heated.”
Both teams were guilty of 16 turnovers, each team snared 34 rebounds, each team made two threes, and just two field goals separated the two squads (22 for St. Frances and 20 for Gonzaga). So where was the difference in this contest one may wonder?
Gonzaga was 27-of-31 from free-throw line including Duke’s junior recruit Tyler Thornton’s 11-of-12 outing. In all, the 6-foot-2 junior scored 19 points, dished out five assists, and snagged four boards.
“That is just Tyler (Thornton),” Turner explained. “He has been a leader since the day he walked into this program as freshman. He is a very heady player.”
St. Frances was just 11-of-17 from the free stripe.
However, the story of the game was the first half by game MVP Ian Hummer. The 6-foot-7 senior Princeton signee scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half, while pulling down nine boards for the night. Hummer seemed to completely neutralize five-star senior Terrell Vinson from St. Frances for the better part of three quarters.
“There is something about Terrell (Vinson) that brings out the best in Ian (Hummer),” Turner said. “He played extremely well against him last year in a scrimmage when Terrell was at Montrose Christian. He is just a solid player that is a great leader.”
“Ian’s dad and uncle were great players at Princeton, and he definitely understands the value of a great education,” said the Purple Eagles’ head man. “He definitely is a high level player, but Princeton was his choice.”
‘Zags junior Cedrick Lindsay finished with 13 points. Harris is a mid to high major type player. Junior Malcolm Lemmons added 13 markers and six caroms.
Gonzaga currently rounds out the top 50 in ESPN’s Fab 50.
The 6-foot-7 Vinson got it going in the second half scoring 14 of his game-high 20 points in the last 16 minutes. The Loyola Marymount recruit also snared nine boards.
Richmond recruit junior Wayne Sparrow was next with 11 lightings and five rebounds. Highly touted sophomore point guard Ronald Williams contributed eight points, four assists and a like amount of rebounds. Williams is being sought after by almost every ACC school. Dante Holmes added seven points.