Corsairs Comeback Halted due to Missed Call
Mired by a season of close defeats and blowouts, the Santa Monica Corsairs men's basketball team will look to build for next season. They have two more games to close out the year, going against the Canyons Cougars first on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 at the Pavilion in Santa Monica, Calif. The Corsairs only have three wins for the entire season, and they came into this game looking for their first win since Dec. 20 last year.
The Corsairs and the Cougars had the makings of a classic with a tightly contested back and forth contest in the first half. The Corsairs started off strong within the first 14 minutes, before the Cougars gained momentum and took a lead that they would never relinquish. Led by Dayne Downey, who was all over the scoreboard, the Corsairs took a 13-11 lead before the Cougars embarked on a run that gave them a 30-18 lead. The Corsairs would not be denied however, as they chipped away at their deficit, cutting it ta six-points trailing 39-33 at halftime.
This action continued into the second half, as both teams once again traded blow after blow. As the Cougars tried to expand their lead, the Corsairs were right behind them, and the crowd was all into into the action. This continued all the way into the final minutes of regulation, as both teams used their timeouts, subs, and new strategies to outmaneuver one another. Then with under a minute to go, the Corsairs trailing 70-66 and needing a turnover to tie, the Cougars score on a controversial layup by Jacob Lilley that hit the top metal line of the board to extend their lead. The play was not called back by the official as the ball was clearly out of bounds, but it was enough to drain the Corsairs of any hope of a comeback, as they would lose 74-72, after Justin Coates hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the game.
The Corsairs have now lost 12 straight games since Dec. 20, on track to finish with the worst record in program history. When asked to reflect on this game, first year Head Coach Joshua Thomas said, "I think the second half the guys really fought, and I think we ended the first half with some actual momentum, and I thought that offensive rebounding we limited them more... and I thought for the most part, we really competed so that was something for me to see."
Dayne Downey had arguably the best game of the season, finishing with 23 points, and 11 rebounds and gave us his thoughts on his performance.
"It felt good, I'm so happy that the team fought, wasn't a blow or anything like that, we fought the whole way....just happy to see the guys compete and myself compete, make shots be efficient is all I can ask for." Joe Robinson, in his first game back off the bench, finished with 17 points. When asked about being back out on the court, Robinson said, "It feels good. Kind of rusty but still feels good." Micheal Fry finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, and gave his thoughts on the outing. "It was a tough loss," Fry said. "I felt like we fought pretty hard, Dayne had a good game, just felt like we played to our best, it's just one of those tough losses."
The Corsairs will host their final game of the season against L.A. Pierce and look to end the season with a bang. When asked about the importance of this upcoming game, Coach Thomas said, "I think it'll be big or us to end the season with a win, it's been a while since we've had one with the roller coaster season that we've had, I think it would be best for the group to end with a win....we just need a win and we'll see how it goes."