UR looked like a team who left everything on the floor Fri. night in Saturday’s Consolation game against Carthage. The Yellowjackets battled exhaustion, poor shooting, and numerous folus and they lost 72-51 to the number one ranked Redmen.

“They [were] a very talented team,” head coach Mike Neer said. “They were much stronger and quicker today. I hope we learned for it. We got the opportunity to look at the big boys.”

The Redmen came out early with a 7-2 run lead by a three-pointer from Redman Junior Antoine McDaniel. They continued to dominate the first half with a powerful 21-8 push in the last seven minutes of the half ending the score at 39-25 Carthage.

“With the frustration of last night’s lost we had a short turn around time and we thought we’d try [the zone] and see how it worked,” said Redmen’s Head Coach Bosko Djurickovic It did early and we stayed with it.”

Carthage was 10 out of 11 at the line during the first half, while UR hit only 2 of their 5 attempted free-throws. The young UR team had 10 turnovers during the first half giving up 12 points to Carthage.

UR was never able to come closer than 11 points in the second half, at times trailing by as much as 25. Redman Junior Jason Wiertal dominated the second half scoring 12 of as 14 point run that brought the score from 41-30 to 55-30 at the 10 minute mark.

Weirtal gave the Redmen 33 of their 72 points throughout the game hitting all 7 of his attempted free-throws.

The Yellowjackets narrowed the gap with an 8-2 run with seven minutes left on the clock to bring the score to 45-64. The dwindling energy in the worn UR team lasted until the end with four points scored in the last 40 seconds in the game.

“We were extremely fatigued,” said Neer. “After such an emotional game, we left a lot out on the floor.”

Carthage’s fans’ cheer of “Thank you seniors,” reflected the experience that the Redmen brought to the game. The experience paid off.

Carthage dominated throughout the game in free-throws, hitting 94 percent (17 out of 18), while UR only hit 36 percent of their attempts from the line. UR also lacked in rebounds, with only 3 successful second-chance scoring attempts throughout the game in sharp contrast to the Redmen’s 20 successful rebounds.

Before the game UR fans chanted “Overrated,” mocking the Carthage players. After the game, Wiertel said that the chant really didn’t motivate the team. “It just hurt,” said Wiertel. “It’s true actually.”

Although UR lost, there is much hope for the young team next year.

“It gave us a chance to see some of the premiere teams in the country,” said freshmen forward Seth Hauben.

“I think by last night’s game we proved we definetly belonged here,” said junior point-guard Tim Sweeney. “It was a confidence builder and we will work hard in the off-season to come back next year.”

Coach Neer agreed.

“We’re not going to sneek up on people next year,” said Neer. “I told the team after the game ‘there is a different number on your jersey.’ We need to accept the challenge of dealing with expectations.”

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