After a long hard fought and one sided game we came up short against Aix-Maurienne. This is the first time in my career I can say the refs literally took over the game and did everything they could to keep us from winning. When one team shoots 35 free-throws while the other only shoots 13, that screams a problem. Throughout all of this adversity we only lost by 4 points so we know that if it wasn’t for the refs, the results would have been totally different. It’s very hard to win when you start a quarter and have 6 team fouls against you within the first minute and a half.
The game started very intense and fast paced. With a well surrounded effort from my team, we ended the first quarter ahead 21-26. This was the start we knew we needed. We came into this game knowing we needed to play tough and be aggressive on offense/ defense. Once the second quarter started that’s when the refs got involved. We continued to play tough and aggressive, but it’s very hard to do that when the refs won’t let you play. You would think the refs had something against us the way they were calling fouls. By the end of the second quarter, we were down 44-39, with three players in foul trouble.
After the break, Mathieu Tensorer would score two baskets in quick succession, for Aix-Maurienne caused errors and scored its points from free-throws (51-43). The gap grew larger with a 3 point of the inevitable Brown (54-43). We were then cut to the quick and the duo of young shots of LMB would be talked about: Junior Mbida/ Moussa Camara and allowed to return to Lille -5 to -2, with 3pts from Ben Gillet. The gap was then the extended to 10 again for Aix-Maurienne (64-54), before we went on a run to close the gap (64-60) with the help of Nicolas Taccoen.
During the final quarter, Aix-Maurienne came out aggressive with two shots in three straight points (70-60) to which Steve Smith responded immediately (70-66). Two free throws by the same player even allowed us to tie the game (72-72). Premises resumed margin (78-72). We threw our strength in battle to close the gap (82-80 and 84-82). Within the last minute we had the chance to tie or win the game but came up short with missed shots and a turnover. Aix-Maurienne 86 – Lille 82
It was completely obvious that the refs were in control because whenever the game was close, the whistle never stopped blowing and Aix-Maurienne lived at the free-throw line. Every time Aix-Maurienne had a comfortable lead, the refs stopped blowing the whistle, and that’s why we constantly kept coming back in the game. If it were not for the refs this would have definitely been a totally different game and result. I will reiterate again that they shot 35 free-throws while we only shot 13, ENOUGH SAID!!!! Now we just need to take control of our season and finish the last two games with wins and make a run in the playoffs. God has been with us this whole season through our ups and downs, so I know we will come out on top, finish the regular season strong, and then move forward from there. With God all things are possible and I will never stop believing because I know what’s promised to me. Our next game is May 4th against Bordeaux so stay tuned for the results, God Bless!!!!