Preview/Prediction: Judson by 6
Judson continues to amaze. Not that they aren't good, they are. Mike Wacker can coach with the best of them. But this team truly is greater than the sum of it's parts. It all goes through Senior Michael Stewart. He's solid with the ball and can knock down the three. I thought they'd lose to Austin Bowie because they didn't have a lot of depth handling the ball but Stewart has really raised his game. Although Judson achieves by committee, they've gotten superlative inside play from Senior Thurman McNeil.
For McAllen, it all rests on the broad shoulders of Senior Wing/Post 6'7" J.J. Avila. This is their 3rd straight year here at the Regional, losing the two previous trips to Converse Wagner. Avila can hurt you inside and out and with Senior PG Nevin Franks out with a torn ACL he'll have to carry an even heavier burden for his squad to advance. Avila is shown below with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors. Avila will need inside help from Senior P Ryan Evans.
1st Quarter. 16-7 Judson. They were patient and hit 3 from beyond the arc. Avila has all 7 points for McHi. Stewart is controlling the game.
2nd Quarter. 24-17 Judson. It's all Avila for McHi as he has 11 points and 4 boards at the half. Like the last two trips here to the Regional, to this point his team mates have not stepped up to assist him.
3rd Quarter 26-30 Judson. McAllen has adjusted to the pace (slow) and are in the game. Julio Oyeuvides has hit two from beyond the arc while Judson has countered with Michael Stewart continuing to shine. He now has 13 points.
4th Quarter. With 3:30 left to play Judson has committed 7 fouls to McHi's 2. The score is 45-37 with under 2 minutes left. McHi has not upped the foul count and it's going to hurt them as they need to get Judson on the FT line. A big steal by Senior Nick Garza (UT-San Antonio football signee) and layup and the score is 45-41 with 1:28 left to play. With exactly a minute left Judson will shoot FT's the rest of the way. Other than a late three by Avila& Garza , it was all Judson at the line and they were a nifty 9-11.
Player of the Game: No question, Judson Senior PG Michael Stewart did the damage. He connected from beyond the arc, took care of the basketball and penetrated as he saw fit. he led the Rockets with 19 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists.
For McAllen it was clearly J.J. Avila who had a game high 20 points and 6 rebounds.