Webb scores career-high 30 in overtime win
February 21, 2011 —
After weeks of asking sophomore guard Chris Webb to take a more active role offensively, coach Frankie Smith got his wish.
Webb scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Cardinals to an 85-80 win over Northwood.
“I’ve said all along that if he can chime in with 12-16 points, we’re a much better team,” Smith said.
Known for his defensive abilities, Webb got into a shooting rhythm the Timberwolves couldn’t break. He shot 70 percent from the floor including 5-7 from beyond the arc and also made 11-14 free throws.
“I was really confident with my shot,” Webb said. “Once I started making some shots, everything just went from there.”
SVSU led 58-46 with less than two minutes to play before Northwood made an improbable comeback. The Timberwolves scored 23 points in the final 1:59 including a basket with two seconds left to send the game into overtime.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my coaching career,” Smith said of the Northwood comeback. “They hit four straight 3-pointers from 30-feet.”
Heading into overtime, Smith sensed the Cardinals were shocked at the comeback.
“I could see in their eyes that they were a little rattled,” Smith said. “I made everyone look me in the eyes and take a deep breath.”
On their first possession, the Cardinals went to the hot-shooting Webb, who connected on a 3-pointer to give SVSU the lead for good.
“From a momentum standpoint, it was huge to come out and take the lead right away,” Smith said. “We settled down from there and got the defensive stops we needed.”
Along with Webb and sophomore guard Michael Fugate and junior guard Greg Foster, the Cardinals used their ability to get in the lane to draw fouls. SVSU finished 34-45 from the free throw line compared to only 18-22 for Northwood.
“We are a driving type of team that used our quickness to get fouled and to the free throw line,” Smith said.
Foster finished with 18 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Fugate added 17 points.
The Cardinals held a 47-45 rebounding advantage.
With SVSU fighting to make the GLIAC tournament, the Cardinals were unable to help themselves in an 84-68 loss to No. 19-ranked Hillsdale.
Smith knew it would be essential to get off to a fast start although the Cardinals trailed 40-25 at halftime after shooting just 14.8 percent in the first half.
“It was a mix of us not hitting some of our open shots along with Hillsdale playing solid defense,” he said. “If you get off to a bad start against Hillsdale, it’s nearly impossible to get back in the game.”
The Chargers converted on 16-33 3-pointers while SVSU was only able to knock down 5-20 attempts from beyond the arc.
“With Hillsdale, you basically have to pick your poison,” Smith said. “They can beat you off the dribble and obviously with their shooting. It’s tough to contain all their weapons.”
Coming off his career-high performance, Webb was held to 10 points on just 2-8 shooting from the field.
“We had a tough time getting into our normal offensive rhythm,” Smith said.
Part of that problem is the recent struggle of senior forward Keithan Jackson, who scored just 11 points combined in the two games.
“It’s just one of those times where his shots aren’t falling,” Smith said of Jackson. “He’s such a hard worker and has been staying after practice and putting in extra time shooting.”
Fugate led the Cardinals with 16 points. Freshman forward Patrick O’Brien had eight points and 10 rebounds.
With the weekend split, the Cardinals move to 12-12 overall and 8-9 in the GLIAC. SVSU currently holds the eighth and final spot in the GLIAC tournament. With home games to Michigan Tech (Thursday, 6 p.m.) and Northern Michigan (Saturday, 6 p.m.), Smith deems Thursday as a “must-win.”
“If we beat Michigan Tech, it will guarantee us a spot in the GLIAC tournament,” he said. “We just need to come out and play a full 40 minutes of defense.”
Both games will feature breast cancer awareness events. During Thursday’s contest, T-shirts will be sold and donations will be accepted. Saturday’s game will feature breast cancer survivors being honored at halftime. All proceeds go to the Covenant HealthCare Foundation Breast Health Center CARE Fund.
“We would like to get as many fans out these games as possible,” Smith said.