Trailblazers Lose Opener in Double Overtime Buzzer Beater
Trailblazers opened their season Tuesday night in Indiana against NAIA Indiana University-East. The team came out very slow and sluggish. At halftime, the Trailblazers went into the locker room down by 6 with a score of 35 to 41. "We came out of the locker room and tried to get the game up tempo by pressing and it back fired on us to put us farther in the hole. We got down by as many as 16," said Coach Christopher. "When you play your opening game against a good team you have to find chemistry. We have several new faces on this team to figure out," states Christopher. The Trailblazers fought back with freshman guard Jay Allen coming off the bench to give the team some good minutes breaking down the Red Wolfs and getting the team some easy baskets. Junior guard Delorean Glanton knocked down a couple of much needed three pointers as well as senior guard Tim Baker. With 30 seconds in regulation play, Delorean Glanton hits a three to tie the ball game. The Trailblazers make a stop and guard Tirrell Cumberland hits a runner in the lane for the win with seven seconds still left on the clock. Red Wolf point guard David Sanders goes end to end to take the game into overtime. The teams play close through over time but the Trailblazers find themselves in the same situation. With 39 seconds left in overtime, senior guard Tim Baker hits a three pointer to tie the game and then lets IUE come down and score quickly. The team brings the ball back up the floor and gives it to Brandon Byars in the post. Byars gets fouled and makes both free throws to go into double overtime. Double over time shows more of the same back and forth play. With less than a minute to play, Delorean Glanton hits a mid range jumper to tie the game. The Trailblazers make a stop and sophomore forward Jeremy Hays gets fouled and hits two free throws to give the team a two point advantage. Red Wolf David Sanders goes hard to the rim again and gets fouled. He hits the first free throw and Coach Christopher calls time out. Sanders misses the second free throw only to have Trailblazers Mike Farrell and Jeremy Hays get the rebound at the same time and get called for a travel with 13 seconds left in the game. IUE gets the ball under their rim down by one point. The Trailblazers play good defense but with one second on the clock Red Wolf freshman Cody Banet hits a step back three pointer to win the game 115 to 113. Coach Christopher states, "This was probably a great game to watch for the fans but a real gut buster for the coach and players. This was a tough loss but showed us just how good we can be and what we have to work on."
Despite the tough loss, the Trailblazers still had some outstanding effort from key players. Forward Brandon Byars was unstoppable in the post with 38 points and 22 rebounds. Senior Tim Baker was solid with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Senior center Mike Baker had 10 points and 11 rebounds and junior guard Delorean Glanton had 14 points and 2 steals.
The Trailblazers are home this Friday, November 5, in the OCU tipoff tournament against Ohio University-Lancaster at 8:00 p.m.