Playoff Recap: Austin 119, Idaho 116

Marcus Williams is better at basketball than you are.

This was an exciting game, one which unfortunately I was only able to watch intermittently.  Oh well.  The Stampede looked like they were in firm control of this thing, up by 12 after three quarters, but Austin stormed back, led by Marcus Williams and Malik Hairston, as you'd expect, and the Toros outscored Idaho by 12 in the final quarter, with a three by Williams sending the game into overtime.  Neither team shot the ball very well there, likely due to fatigue (Williams and Hairston played all 53 minutes), but the Toros were just better enough to come away with the victory.

Notes on individual player performances below.

Look, Marcus Williams is fantastic, alright?  You know this by now and I'm almost getting tired of writing it.  33 points on 24 shots, including making all six of his threes, nine rebounds and eight assists.  The six turnovers aren't great, but I'm not going to kill him for it when he was so good towards the end of the game.

Malik Hairston?  Also very good.  34 points on 22 shots, Hairston also made four of his five threes, made all six of his free throws, had six rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and led all players with four steals.  The Spurs sure do know how to pick 'em, don't they?

Justin Bowen played in this game.  Who is Justin Bowen, you ask?  He's a small forward who's a decent rebounder but not a very good three-point shooter, and did most of his filling in for Eric Dawson.  He shot 5-7 (including a nice putback dunk late in the second quarter) with five rebounds in 26 minutes.  Not bad for someone who heaven knows when he last played in a game.

A word about the Austin guards.  They, uh, weren't very good.  4-11 shooting (including 1-5 on three-pointers) for Squeaky Johnson, 1-4 for Stanley Burrell.  I know it doesn't matter as much when Marcus Williams is running the show, but they really need to do better than that if the Toros are going to have a chance against Colorado.

On to Idaho, who really did play well.  They shot 50 percent from the field, had assists on 24 of their 44 field goals, but the Toros just shot the ball better.  As with Austin, the guards were the problem here.  Roberto Bergersen missed all of his field goals.  That's right, Bergeron had one turnover and still managed to have more of those than shots made.  Kevin Burleson was slightly better, I guess, shooting 5-13, but he and Bergeron had fewer assists combined than backup Jamaal Tatum, who had eight, and good for him for taking some kind of control over the proceedings.  Of course, he also shot 4-10, but I'm trying to praise him here.

Lance Allred is a really solid pivot man.  20 points and 11 rebounds for him, along with three blocks, including two straight in overtime, but Dwayne Jones is a tough guy to compete with on the boards.  By my count, though, Allred didn't take a single shot in the fourth quarter.  He was causing problems early in the game, but the Stampede failed to get him the ball towards the end.

Brent Petway fouled out with just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter.  Overall the fouls were pretty evenly distributed among the two teams.  21 called on Idaho, 18 on Austin, but Austin only shot one more free throw.  Still, Nick Buchert was involved in the game, so you have to wonder if Petway was the focus of any shenanigans.  He was also called for palming in the first quarter.

Mohammed Abukar, I'm sorry I ever doubted you.  It really looked like he was the guy who'd come from nowhere and win the game for his team, particularly in the second quarter  when he shot a perfect 9-9.  36 points on 17 shots for Abukar, including making four of his six threes, and while he didn't really fill up the stat sheet in other areas, he was a scoring machine for 12 minutes.

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