"It's All About The Game"
Lincoln upsets Bison in lively opener
Ron Bailey, Publisher
Bison fall to CIAA foe to start season.
November 10, 2012 - The first game in a college basketball team’s season can be a little rough around the edges, with teams often playing inefficiently and with little cohesion. It’s understandable, as there hasn’t been much time for a squad to jell.
Last night’s game, Lincoln visiting Howard, at times followed suit, with the home standing Bison shooting 38.3% from the field, while the Lions notched a 41.2% rate. Each team’s first period mark of 29.2% and 33.3%, respectively, was worse.
That doesn’t mean the game was a boring affair, as Lincoln erased a 32-24 deficit at intermission to win 68-62, before a raucous, Burr Gymnasium crowd. For Lincoln, the game largely turned on the play of a player not seen in awhile.
Will Cole, flanked by Derrick Washington, played a big role in Lincoln's win.
Early on, the contest turned on guard play, with Howard sophomore point man Simuel Frazier jumpstarting the Bison offense; previously there was little interior offensive action, with players simply hoisting from the perimeter, work that produced a consistent deficit hovering around seven. Frazier, who finished with eight points, three rebounds and three assists, changed that by driving and dishing. He was impactful, despite making only one of seven shot attempts.
If the play of Frazier and junior guard Calvin Thompson (21 points, three points) led the Bison, Lincoln’s backcourt performers did the same early on. Lincoln’s George Jackson, a junior, routinely drove and scored. For the game, he accounted for 15 points, and a pair of rebounds, assists and steals.
Enter sophomore center Will Cole. Having returned to Lincoln after a considerable absence, the team’s head coach, John Hill, revealed afterward “He’s a kid that hasn’t played ball in a couple of years”, and as such “I didn’t know how he would react”. That changed, with Hill continuing “As the game went on, he got stronger. They couldn’t do anything with him”.
A true statement; Lincoln realized Cole, producer of 22 points, 13 rebounds and 2 steals, including nailing 10 of 11 from the line, was on fire, changing his role from more than the first half screener he was previously. As such the Lions got him the ball out of pick and roll, 1-4 to isolation and other sets. Cole was truly the difference down the stretch.
Cole on his play: “I mean I was the hot hand, but it was a team effort. It was the first game and we got the victory. That’s what is important”.
While Cole was i95Ballerz.com’s Man of the Game, he couldn’t have attained that without the help of junior guard Derrick ‘Dirkey’ Washington, who in crunch time controlled the Lincoln attack, driving which allowed him to find people and score. His floater, deep in the shot clock with less than 30 seconds, was huge, and indicative of Washington’s second half play.
“He’s tremendously special” opined Hill, of Washington, who starred at D.C.’s Coolidge High School. “There are times where we don’t even call plays for him”. Washington notched 11 points and three dimes.
Adding importance to the game were its HBCU, cross divisional aspects - both are well regarded historically Black schools, while the win gives The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association current bragging rights over its Division I cousin, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Association.
Extra: DMV Bent
Both Howard and Lincoln mine not only the District-Maryland-Virginia areas, but Baltimore as well for talent. It makes sense, given Howard is in DC, while Lincoln stands outside of Philadelphia.
Derrick Washington, defended by Calvin Thompson.
From a Howard perspective, these guys include Howard’s Prince Okoroh, Brandon Ford, Oliver Ellison and Keon Hill (who recently injured an ACL and is expected to redshirt).
Lincoln boasts Richard Glover, Beloved Rodgers and the Jackson Brothers, George and Justin who transferred from Coppin State and Morgan State respectively. All of these players are from Baltimore.
Of course there is also Washington, a player that has clearly matured, on and off the floor. Of doing so, Washington smiled, before simply saying “I’m trying”. He has the chance to be difference maker for Lincoln in CIAA action this year.
Extra: Last Word
Faithful from both schools were in attendance, creating a great atmosphere. This included dancing to tunes spun by the house DJ, cheering, and of course, some trash talking. Specifically, from fans.
The Bison generally plant a contingent of chanting students near the opponnent's bench - smart strategy. Doing what they do, these students started chanting to Cole "You don't have a name" - Lincoln's jersey's don't bear them.
Well, unknown to them, his mother, or at least a female relative was nearby. Their taunts prompted her to inform them, of Cole's name.
Wrong move. The witty students retaliated "Get your Momma", urging Cole to settle her down. It got worse, as the next chant was "Get your Grandma", despite the lady not being that old.
If you are going to taunt, you better be able to eat humble pie; at the end of the game, not just those of the Cole clan but other Lincoln fans enjoyed giving it to the Howard hecklers.
Egg, was clearly positioned on faces.
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