Why do weird things always seem to happen at Mercyhurst? Twice when I was a member of the Gannon team, Mercyhurst blew double-digit leads and lost to us in heartbreaking fashion at the Campus Center. A few years back, Laker Brent Swain had a monster night on the boards (20 rebounds) but that was overshadowed by his 1-for-18 field goal chart on his home court. Gannon's 59-57 win at the 'Hurst tonight combined those two oddities -- one team wasting a giant lead and one player helping carry his team in spite of a 1-for-the-entire-freaking-evening stat line.
The Knights controlled the tempo all game and held a 13-point lead with 3:36 left. Then, faster than you can say "Nnamdi Nnadili", the game was tied. Two turnovers, two missed free throws, and two minutes later, the Lakers had roared back. My wife Barbara had a great line. She said Mercyhurst played most of the game like they were physically on fire -- dribbling too fast, crashing into Gannon players, hoisting out-of-control shots. Then, for a 2:38 stretch in prime time, they caught fire and nearly pulled off the unlikely comeback against the best defense in Division II basketball.
I know Joe Lindsey was just 1-for-11, including 0-for-5 on 3-pointers, but I thought he was key to Gannon's win. Lindsey logged all 40 minutes at the point and brought the ball up against relentless pressure nearly every possession. Still, he committed only three turnovers and on defense he held the Mercyhurst off-guards in check, chasing them from corner-to-corner in their baseline-oriented offense. You can't expect a guy to give that much effort ballhandling and defending and still be in rhythm on offense. Except for when he clanged a pass off the back of the bankboard, Lindsey did his job and protected the basketball.