Leading up to the NIWBT National Championships, Edinboro believed it would be facing Missouri in the first round and prepped for the squad.
However, the Scots were pitched a curveball.
The Fighting Scots ended up doing battle with #3 Illinois in the first round of the tournament, hosted by the University of Missouri at Brewer Fieldhouse in Columbia, Missouri earlier this month.
The Illini got the best of Edinboro, who was the sixthseed in the tournament, 70-38.
“We played really well,” head coach Jim Glatch said about the game. “I think we left some points on the floor again. We did all the things we needed to do offensively and defensively we did okay, but their main threat, we couldn’t stop him.”
Glatch was referring to Illinois’s Nik Goncin who registered 24 points on 10-12 shooting, coupled with seven total rebounds in 29 minutes of play.
Additionally, the Scots struggled from the floor in the second half, shooting only 16 percent in the final frame, which allowed Illinois to cruise to its fourth win over Edinboro this season.
Edinboro bounced back in the second game with a 5833 triumph against Southwest Minnesota State.
The Scots shook off their first game shooting woes as they shot 60 percent from the floor in the first half, which granted them a 32-19 lead at the break.
“We came out with a sense of urgency that we didn’t have in the second half of the Illinois game,” Glatch said about his team in the second game. “I was very proud of the guys for just pushing it. Southwest felt they could press us, so we broke their press which led to some easy baskets.”
Four Fighting Scots finished in double-figure scoring. Mike Adams, Derek Strickland, Shane Knox and Blake Rush all reached that plateau with Adams leading the way with 15 points.
Glatch’s group capped of the 2014-15 campaign with a loss to Alabama 49-39, a game which he believes could’ve been won.
“We played Alabama really well,” he said. “Unfortunately the result of the score doesn’t show how well we played them. Ten points against them is not a bad game and it was better than what we have done against them all year, but we could’ve won that game had the officials stayed out of the way.”
The officials caused some confusion near halftime of the contest when it was originally thought that Rush had three fouls, causing Glatch to substitute him, but halftime alterations to the scorebook made officials say at the beginning of the second half that he had only two fouls, which would have changed Glatch’s plan with Rush.
Additionally, the lopsided numbers in the free throw category were alarming. The Crimson Tide attempted 17 foul shots compared to the Scots’ two, both of which came in the first half.
The loss ended the season with a 15-22 record for Boro and a sixth-place finish at nationals, one spot better than a year ago.
Adams was named a second team All-American while Strickland received Academic All-American honors at the NIWBT end-of-year banquet.
Tyler Trumbauer is the sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.