View Full Version : Wilmington Sea Dawgs Win Battle of Unbeatens Against Arkansas
01-12-2008, 08:31 PM
The Wilmington Sea Dawgs overcame great outside shooting and a huge first half deficit to beat the Arkansas Impact 94-87. (Don't hold me to that final score; I was too busy celebrating to be sure about it). The Sea Dawgs tall and talented front court kept them in the game, including a few nice blocks and dunks.
Toward the end one of Wilmington's starting guards took a foul so hard he left the game and had to be replaced for his free throws.
This was my first taste of Sea Dawg basketball PBL style and it was great. Both teams uniforms had PBL emblems in the back between the shoulder blades toward the neck (like an actual league would do). The dance team got an upgrade in uniform and looked snazzy enough that I thought to mention it. And the crowd...
I saw the Sea Dawgs two ABA playoff games last year and the crowd was larger and more raucous and very well could have played a part in the Sea Dawgs coming back, as they were down from early in the first until about five minutes left in the game, when the crowd got big time loud.
I am lousy on estimates, but this was really a good size crowd. Of course, they did a kid's night promotion which helped fill the place. The jury is still out on the PBL's viability long term, but Wilmington certain seems to know what it's doing.
A tip of the cap to Arkansas, who played well and is a very good team. The Sea Dawgs should be glad they won this one.
01-13-2008, 12:08 AM
I was at tonight's (well, technically last night's) game between Wilmington and Arkansas and it was an impressive showing by both teams.
First off, I've been lurking on the boards here trying to get scoops about other teams in the PBL. I read the comments about Arkansas' uniforms and logos but I was surprised to see "new" looking jerseys for the Impact players. The colors and style are similar to the old Pistons jerseys and both teams sported the PBL emblem (as the prior post indicated). There was a decent crowd in attendance but I don't think it was as large as opening weekend (maybe because of NLF playoffs? who knows...)
The first quarter was physical and the refs let both teams play it out. The Impact were absolutely "money" from beyond the arc and at the end of the quarter, they had a 15 point lead. Wilmington struggled to develop an inside presence and they were one or two steps behind on covering the three-point shots.
Wilmington began to claw back into the during the second quarter. A few line-up tweaks here and there allowed the Sea Dawgs to cut the lead to nine points at halftime. The first half totally belonged to Arkansas and I could see how they were one of the four most talked about teams of the PBL.
After a dazzling halftime show (2nd and 3rd graders played a 3 minute game of basketball) the players returned and the third quarter looked almost like the first. There was a span where Wilmington had three solid chances to bring the score to within four or five points but either turned the ball over or took "bad" shots. Arkansas maintained pressure and scored almost at will to earn a double digit lead by the end of the quarter. The Sea Dawgs, however, were not in panic mode yet.
In the fourth, the Sea Dawgs began to force some turnovers in addition to finally catching some luck as the Impact missed some shots. Just as time ticked off the clock, the Sea Dawgs ticked away at the lead. Wilmington's rebounding improved from the previous two games. As the Impact's long jumpers began clanging off the rim, the Sea Dawgs would snag the rebound and get up the floor quickly. Finally, with four minutes remaining in the game, the Sea Dawgs took the lead; their first taste of leading of the entire game!
As mentioned in the earlier post, there was a scary foul that occurred near the end of the game. Wilmington was inbounding the ball under Arkansas' basket and the Impact were in a full court press. The Sea Dawgs passed out of a trap and as the guard was crossing half court, an Impact player hit him (unintentionally, hopefully) in the eye with either his elbow or his hand. The Wilmington player actually blacked out for a minute as he laid on the sideline. He had to be substituted for the free throws and went to the locker room with three minutes left in the game. The player had some swelling around his eye and had an appointment with an eye doctor on Sunday.
Wilmington hung on to the lead and won the game. I am not entirely sure of the final score as I was checking on the injured player (he's a family member) but all in all, it was a great game!
I can definitely see where Arkansas is a "favorite" for their division. They have very good athletes that seem to know how to "play" basketball. They are very very good outside shooters but if they go cold, they are susceptible to comebacks (a la tonight). Wilmington played with great poise tonight. They have solid basketball players but tenacity was key for this win. They never panicked nor showed signs of frustration.
I'm impressed with the PBL so far and I hope that the other teams are experiencing the same atmosphere the Wilmington area is generating! One other point to make in efforts to applaud the PBL -- the refs (while they didn't make the best calls all of the time) looked professional. They all had on PBL referee shirts (dark gray, PBL logo on left breast) which is a nice transition from the traditional black & white stripes (which the refs wore last week).
All in all, both teams played hard and fair. There were no cheap fouls or "thuggish" displays (I saw some when the Sea Dawgs were in the ABA last year) and I can't wait to see the next game.
01-13-2008, 12:13 PM
Wilmington seems to be plugging on all cylinders, off and on the court.
The local press there was supposedly pretty critical of the ABA last year (just based on cancelled and rescheduled games), but seemingly has embraced the new league as a significant "upgrade" if you put any stock to the online articles.
So far so good. All games played. Teams showing up with full rosters. Higher quality games (eg, no more 30 pt blowouts against 6 man teams with 47 yr old players!)
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