Perhaps the only silver lining to Gannon's incredibly disappointing 67-64 overtime loss at Bloomsburg is that I can amuse myself by using the above headline. Bloom senior Lorenzo Christmas, who nearly doubled his scoring average by exploding for 23 points on 6-of-9 shooting on threes, sent the Knights into their 12-day break with a big fat lump of coal in their stocking. It probably also didn't help Gannon that on the first day of winter they were facing a team whose head coach's last name is just one letter away from "snow."
As I wrote in my post after Gannon's three consecutive wins
last week over mediocre/lousy teams, the Bloomsburg game was a test if
the Knights could rack up a lot of wins this season. Of course, one game
doesn't make-or-break your year, but this loss -- plus the four other
early season stumbles -- put 6-5 Gannon in a precarious position
Here's the way I see it: the Knights are
5-3 at home and 1-2 on the road. If that pace holds steady the
remainder of the year, Gannon will be something like 5-2 over their
remaining 7 home games and 3-5 over their final 8 road games. The math
on that works out to a final regular season record of 14-12. That's
ho-hum, not "Ho, ho, ho!"
If GU would turn things
around and go 6-1 at home and 5-3 on the road, they'd rally to be 17-9.
Am I accurate or pessimistic to say that's the best we can hope for
based on what we've seen through 11 games? To get 20 regular season
wins, the Knights will have to finish 7-0 at home and 7-1 away against a
schedule that features undefeated and nationally ranked IUP (#7) twice
and a game at East Stroudsburg (#12) on Jan. 3.
OK -- we can't go into tho holiday break on that depressing note. I should let you know that I'm fired up to see that walk-on Cory Bailey
registered his first career basket Saturday vs. Bloom. Every account
I've received says Bailey is a quality person and always works his tail
off, so it's nice to see him be rewarded for his efforts. Had Gannon
prevailed vs. the Huskies, the headline to this post would have been --
and you have to sing it in the tune of the First Day of Christmas -- "... And A First Hoop From Cory Bailey!"