More summaries coming. Just been overloaded with video highlights.
Brunswick Prevails Behind Ukawuba, 56-49
By Greg Machos
January 19, 2012
PISCATAWAY, NJ--Much of the key to East Brunswick's success the past four seasons has been its depth. In a key GMC Red matchup against Piscataway, the length of the Bears bench played a very important role. With Mike Summerer sidelined due to injury, reserves such as Jake Krantz, Gary Baumer, and Danny Leung had to step up while regulars like Rob Ukawuba had to take on more of the burden.
All four of those players made key plays in the game as third ranked East Brunswick jumped out to a 43-30 third quarter lead, and then hung on for a 56-49 victory over the sixth ranked Chiefs. Ukawuba collected a game high 20 points including 14 in the first half. Krantz came up with a huge basket to end the third on a putback after the Bears grabbed four offensive rebounds including two by Leung, who got another offensive board, and drew a foul early in the fourth for a one of two showing at the line. Baumer, who drew a charge in the first period, and connected on a three to spark a 12-3 run to end the third, came up with a huge offensive rebound in the final minute to help seal the victory.
This contest was much closer than the first time these two teams played when the third ranked Bears defeated then second ranked P-Way at home on December 20th by the score of 76-49. Ukawuba hit from all angles as he made six field goals including two threes while sinking six foul shots. Joe Ross, who scored on a breakaway layin off a steal with just over two and a half minutes to play, and netted two free throws with 29.8 seconds left, chipped in with 11 points on three field goals including a trey and four free throws. Abu Bestawros also stepped up in the absence of Summerer with 10 points on four field goals, and two foul shots with 6.7 seconds remaining. Amir Bell also contributed with 9 points including seven from the charity stripe.
Leading the way in a losing cause for P-Way was Marcus Freeney, who wasn't afraid to jump in amongst the trees for several putbacks en route to equaling Ukawuba for game high with 20 points. Freeney, a junior, had 7 field goals including a three and 5 free throws, and scored 10 of his points in the final period. Tajae Sharpe and Greg Davis chipped in with 9 and 8 points respectively. Sharpe had 7 of his points in the fourth quarter including two threes. Vik Singh added 7 points including five in the first period, and a off-balanced putback as he was falling to the ground following a missed free throw by Freeney with less than two minutes remaining. For the game, Piscataway had more two point field goals (13-12) and points from long distance (15-12), but EB outscored the Chiefs by a margin of 20-8 at the line, where the Bears shot 91 percent.
Both teams had seven different players get into the scoring column, and four of those players scored at least 7 points, but East Brunswick had three players score in double figures versus P-Way's one. EB outscored the Chiefs in both of the middle periods after an 8-8 tie in the first period to take a 43-30 lead. Piscataway made a rally in the fourth with a 19-9 tear to pull within three at 52-49 with just over a minute and a half to play. The Chiefs couldn't get any closer thanks to Baumer's offensive rebound off his own missed three point attempt, and Ross sank two free throws at the 29.8 second mark, and Bestawros sank his two charity shots to wrap up the victory. The game got off to a slow start defensively in the first period. Both teams failed to score from the perimeter and inside as they each struggled to find a rhythm.
Piscataway and East Brunswick each had three field goals in the first period including a three pointer and a conventional three point play for an 8-8 tie. Each squad also drew a charge. The Bears took the early lead on a baseline jumper from the left side by Ross at about the 7:40 mark. Singh later tied the game on a pair of free throws at the 6:17 mark. After a lull in the scoring of over a minute, Bell drove in for a layup while being fouled and made the bonus free throw to take a 5-2 lead with just under five minutes to go in the half. Singh tied the game again nearly three minutes later with a three pointer off a kickout by Davis. The Chiefs went in front for a bit at 8-5 when Davis drove in for a layup while being fouled for a three point play with 49.2 seconds to go. Ukawuba tied the game again a short time later with a three from the right wing with just under a half minute remaining in the opening period.
The second period started out back and forth with both teams exchanging leads three times while there were also five ties. In the first half, there were a total of four lead changes and seven ties with neither team having a lead bigger than six points. After Freeney drained a triple from the right wing at the 3:48 mark for a 19-16 lead, the Bears closed out the half with a 9-0 run. Ukawuba, who scored 11 of his points in the period on four field goals including a three and two foul shots, ignited the spurt with a triple from the right wing at the 2:47 mark to tie the game at 19-19. Then, the junior forward scored on a layup with 2:07 remaining in the first half for a 21-19 lead. Bell then made two free throws at the 1:28 mark, and Ross capped the run and the first half scoring with a pair of charity shots with just under a minute to go before halftime for a 25-19 lead at the intermission.
In the third, the Bears got some more separation thanks to a 18-11 showing in the frame. East Brunswick opened the second half scoring when Bell got on the floor for a loose ball, passed ahead to Ukawuba, who drove and dished left to Bestawros for a layup, and a 27-19 lead as Piscataway called for time at the 6:46 mark. Following the timeout, Davis got the Chiefs on the board with a drive into the paint for a floater, and a 27-21 EB lead at the 6:17 mark. Bell then made two free throws at the 6:03 mark, and Ukawuba added a bucket a short time later for a 31-21 lead. P-Way then scored six unanswered points including a short baseline jumper at the 5:39 mark by Sharpe, a putback by Freeney at the 4:59 mark, and a baseline jumper from the left side by Freeney at the 4:02 mark to close the gap to 31-27.
The visitors, which led for the last 18:07 of the contest, ended the third by scoring 12 of the last 15 points. Baumer sparked the spurt with a triple at the 3:47 mark, Ukawuba added a layup at the 3:04 mark and two free throws at the 1:36 mark, Ross connected on his only three pointer with a little more than a minute to go in the period for a 41-27 lead, and then after a three by Davis narrowed the deficit to 11, the Bears crashed the boards in the waning moments for four offensive rebounds before Krantz cashed in with a putback to end the third with a 43-30 lead. The Chiefs opened the fourth with the first four points as Singh connected on a jumper at the 7:49 mark, and Freeney drew a foul and made two free throws at the 7:15 mark for a 43-34 EB advantage.
P-Way continued to chip away as the final period progressed. After Ukawuba drove and kicked out to Bestawros for a baseline jumper from the right side at the 7:03 mark, Sharpe got on the board again with his first of two threes on a shot from the top of the key at the 6:23 mark. Then, after Leung made one of two at the line for a 46-37 lead, Sharpe struck again by sinking a triple from the left corner at the 5:50 mark for a 46-40 Bears edge. A little more than a half minute after that, Freeney banked in a floater as he was fouled for a traditional three point play, and then he added a one of two showing at the line for a now tenuous 46-44 EB lead. Following a Bears score for a four point lead, Sharpe made one of two from the line to close the gap to three with a little more than three minutes to play.
The Bears kept the Chiefs at arm's length though thanks to some breaks. First, Ross leaped up to deflect a P-Way pass that was stolen by the Bears, and given back to Ross for a uncontested layin at the 2:33 mark. Moments later, the Chiefs turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds, which set up a score by Bestawros at the 2:27 mark for a 52-45 lead. Piscataway didn't give up though. Instead the Chiefs closed to within three again as Freeney scored on a putback as he was fouled at the 1:46 mark, and when he missed the bonus free throw, Singh was there to put it back in as he fell to the ground for his first points since the first quarter to make the score, 52-49 in favor of EB. After both teams turned the ball over, and EB had to burn a couple timeouts, Baumer made the biggest play of the game when he followed his missed jumper from the right side for an offensive rebound with under a minute to go.
Ross was then fouled on a inbounds play, and made two free throws with just under a half minute left. Bestawros closed out the win with his two charity shots. With the victory, East Brunswick improved to 10-3 on the season including an 8-1 mark in the Red Division while Piscataway fell to 7-7 including a 5-4 record in divisional play. View the play-by-play and video highlights from this game in the blog.
East Brunswick (10-3)
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