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Sunday, January 18, 2009

State 76, Georgia Tech 71 (OT)

After all the grief heaped upon the shoulders of the "old guard" (including some from myself) following the loss to FSU, State's veteran duo of Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley were the driving forces of a come-from-behind win in the RBC Center on Saturday.


McCauley scored 22 points and snagged 10 boards, and Costner poured 18 more to lift the Pack to a 76-71 overtime victory.

The Pack was down 10 with 4:44 to go on a Gani Lawal layup, but the Pack closed the game on a 13-3 run to tie it with :31 to go. Another member of the old guard, Dennis Horner, took over in overtime, scoring six points in the bonus frame including the winning bucket and foul to put the game away.

The guard situation continues to ebb and flow...Julius Mays, starting by virtue of his strong performances of late relative to his backcourt teammates, turned the ball over six times, yielding the floor late in the game to Farnold Degand. Degand came through...it was his bucket and free throw that tied the game at 67-all.

Which only makes one wonder where Sidney goes from here. It's got to be frustrating when--from game to game--you have no idea which of your 10 players will show up to play that day. As a coach you're not afforded the ability to tinker with the lineup for 15 minutes with the scoreboard off to figure out who brought their game that day. Lowe is having to do just that, praying that the team can keep it close long enough to nail down the rotation willing to play that day. It worked against Georgia Tech, but it won't against just about any other team in the conference.

Also, turnovers continue to be a bugaboo. State logged 22 more--nearly 30% of the team's possessions--and were bailed out by GT's 22 turnovers to put the turnover margin at break-even. State's now faced the worst two teams in the league in terms of turnovers (FSU and GT) and won one of two. The teams from here on out will take care of the basketball much better, and State--if they don't take better care of the ball--will consistently find themselves on the wrong end of a pretty nasty turnover margin.

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