'Little Things' Aid Bulldogs In Victory Over Talladega
February 24, 2013Fisk University
Nashville, Tenn. --- An inspiring quote from famed author Robert Brault is "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." The Fisk University Bulldogs (8-17, 4-8 in the GCAC) defeated the Talladega Tornadoes (17-11, 7-5 in the GCAC) 62-60 due in large part to little contributions from one of their biggest players.
Hustle plays made the difference in the victory for the Bulldogs and 6'6 245 lbs. freshman center Jalen Smith (five points and four rebounds) made key plays down the stretch to support the win. It was a close game from the beginning so the little things made a huge difference.
With 5:13 left in regulation and the game tied at 52, Bulldog forward Brandyn Mungo (six points) stole the ball from Talladega big man Delonte Boyd. Mungo then had the ball tipped away from him. Smith dove on the floor and called timeout to preserve the possession. On the inbounds play Fisk guard Bradley Grayson threw a lob pass to power forward Darrell Miller (24 points and 18 rebounds) who slammed it home to give Fisk the lead.
Smith took a charge on a driving lay-up attempt by Talladega guard Phillip Wood on the next possession. About a minute later, he was fouled by Tornado guard Jakobe Shannon. Smith split those free throws giving Fisk a three point lead at 55-52.
"It was a critical point because we weren't really playing well," said Fisk head coach Derek Watkins.
"Jalen gave us a spark. He played his role, rebounded and did the little things. It was good to see him do that. We need to see it more and more so we can keep him on the floor."
After Smith's free throw Tornado guard Ray Lewis hit a contested three point shot from the corner to tie it at 55. The lead see-sawed until Fisk forward Cameron Lewis scored two baskets to give his team a lead they would not give up. During that stretch Smith made two crucial rebounds in traffic to help seal the deal.
"It was a game that we refused to lose," said Smith.
"I personally hate to lose. Coach talks about doing the little things all the time. I am happy that the little things paid off".
Miller recorded his second game of 24 and 18 in a row. The junior forward now has double-doubles in six of his last nine games. In those nine games he is averaging 19.4 points and 14.1 rebounds. Saturday was his eighth double-double on the year.
"Darrell has been a force as of late," said Watkins.
"He does what he does best which is rebound. He was big around the basket. He gets pushed around a lot but he never gives up. He has a warrior's mentality. If you look at the box score everyone contributed to this win. I am looking forward to finishing the season strong then seeing what happens in the tournament."
The Bulldogs will be back in action on Monday with their last home conference game against Edward Waters College. Game time is 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.