Slow start leads to loss against Falcons
After facing a 15-point deficit to end the first quarter during last Friday's game against Salisbury, it looked as if the Northwestern boys basketball team had its hands full against last season's league champs.
The Tigers, however, responded in the second half to pull to within just three points in the fourth quarter.
And with 41 seconds to play, the Tigers (7-11 overall; 2-7 in Colonial League) had another opportunity to make it a one-possession game late.
A tough layup attempt by Josh Williamson fell just off the mark and the Falcons secured the rebound. Two Salisbury free throws all but then iced the game, and the Falcons (9-6 overall; 6-3 in Colonial League) escaped with the 48-43 victory.
"This has been redundant for us," said Eddinger. "We did it against Catty and we did it here. We spot teams 15-point leads and then we battle our butts off to get back in the game. And we do a great job, but you're out of energy. We can't spot teams these big leads."
Slow starts have plagued the Tigers this season. They have fallen behind by 10 or more points in the first quarter six times this season, with five of those games coming in Colonial League play. The Tigers have lost all six of those contests.
The hole they dug agaisnt the Falcons was a little too deep to crawl out of.
"The problem is we're struggling to get the ball inside the last few games and a combination of things, which leads to shooting jump shots" said Eddinger. "And what I tell the kids all the time, it's got to start with the defense and that's what started the comeback in the second period was the defense."
A 14-7 advantage in the third quarter brought the Falcons' lead down to just five points heading into the fourth quarter. Jarred Binder then hit a baseline jumper to start the fourth that made it 35-32 Salisbury.
That's as close as the Tigers would come, however, as the Falcons scored the next six points to increase their margin back to nine.
"We're proven defensively," said Eddinger. "I've made it very clear up here I want to become a man-to-man basketball team. The kids are working hard at it in practice, and we had two great days of practice heading into tonight's game. And I thought that showed in how we played."
Cam Richardson had a team-high 16 points that kept the Tigers within striking distance for much of the second half. David Wagner had 10 and Williamson added eight for the Tigers.
They'll next host Saucon Valley on Friday for a 7 p.m. tipoff.