Seeing John Gourlay's number up in lights to start the night didn't give me much comfort. I'm sure I wasn't alone. There is street clothes, at the end of the bench, was our #3 scorer (9.8 ppg), #3 rebounder (5.7rpg), and #3 minute man (23.8mpg) 6'10" Forward, Phil Anderson. Okay, no excuses. We didn't lose the game because we didn't have Phil.
We loss to a very talented St. Joe's squad who came out on fire (LU never held the lead) and took the battle to us. We couldn't and didn't respond well with no answer for their superstar, Ahmad Nivins. He has his customary 20 pt / 17 rebound game. The rest of their team did as expected, too. SJU's FGs and "3's" were falling at a somewhat acceptable rate of 42.9% and 31.3% rates, respectively, as well. Actually, we nearly matched them in FG%, but suffered from the line hitting only 8 of 17 chances. SJU tallied 18 of 23 from the stripe. SJU did, however, put on a clinic, however, in ball control (20 assists to 11 turnovers) and block shots (5 to LU's 0). Bottom line: the 13 for 22 shot performance coupled with the combined 22 rebounding effort of their interior players (Nivins and Hilliard) was just too much for John Gourlay / Zahir Carrington to handle. Our big guys were assisted by Freshmen Forwards Adams (17 minutes) and Mineri (11 minutes). That had to be quite a learning experience for them - a positive on a night like this if you're looking for one. Another positive? Try 2449 fans in attendance. Yeah, I know many (perhaps most) were SJU backers. But, so what! Stabler had life and it was good to see.