Bulldogs fall to Wolfpack

January 31, 2008

by Taryn E. Lowery

The Bulldogs were walking hard at the beginning of their match-up against the Nevada Wolfpack Saturday night.

In the fist half, the Bulldogs played extremely well, but the Wolfpack bit into the lead and ran away with a victory 83-70 against the Bulldogs.

Bulldog Head Coach Kerry Rupp said the team needs to improve their ability to adapt on the fly to take advantage of the opposing team’s weaknesses.

The better the team becomes at combating what the opposing team is doing well, the better they will play throughout the remainder of the season.

“We’ve got to do a better job of adjusting,” Rupp said.

The Bulldogs came out of the gates with a game plan and played well in executing what Rupp asked of them.

“We initially came out and tried to take advantage of the pick-and-roll against them,” Rupp said.

Junior guard JC Clark said penalties and giving up second chance points were a main reason why the team was not successful against the Wolfpack.

“We have to do a better job of communicating and helping each other out,” Clark said.

The Bulldog’s tried to give the ball to their perimeter sharp shooters as Clark, Drew Washington and Kyle Gibson, hustled to find open spots on the floor to score.

“We wanted to move the ball,” Clark said. “Because the more we moved the ball, the more the Nevada defense had to work.”

Clark said it depends on the flow of the game whether the Bulldogs are able to get quick uncontested shots.

“Coach just tells us to take the open look, but he also wants us to be aggressive,” Clark said.

Rupp said the Bulldogs were the smaller team and had to make minor adjustments to compensate for the Wolfpack size.

The Wolfpack’s roster played giants, literally, with all their players being six feet tall and above.

“We didn’t think they were that physical, but their depth and height of course played a factor,” Clark said. “Our big guys fought all night and gave their best effort with the guards help.”

With Nevada being 4-2 in the WAC, Rupp said he knew it was going to be a tough game and the Wolfpack would come with a game plan to capitalize on their team’s strengths.

“One thing Nevada did was run a ‘knock-off’ play where their wing would knock off our post, but we did a good job of staying on top of it,” Rupp said.

He said the way the Bulldogs disrupted the play was by denying the Wolfpack player the ball.

The Bulldogs were consistent throughout the night from the free throw line as the team shot a blistering 80 percent.

Gibson was the leading scorer with 18 points.

Followed by Clark and Washington adding 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Nevada senior center David Ellis, who stands 7’1″, was their leading scorer with 14 points.

Rupp recited a recent Eli Manning statement to explain the current Bulldogs situation.

“Eli said it best when he said he never worried about sports. It’s all about handling the tough times,” Rupp explained.

Rupp said it’s easy to talk it, but he told the Bulldogs, “Let’s walk it.”

The Bulldogs will be off almost a week until their next game at 11:05 p.m. Saturday, in Honolulu against Hawaii.