BLOOMFIELD'S NCAA TOURNAMENT RUN ENDS AT ELITE 8
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (March 23, 2011) - The Bloomfield
College men's basketball team's run through the NCAA Tournament
ended Wednesday night with a 96-89 setback against the BYU-Hawaii
Seasiders in the Elite 8 in Springfield. The Deacons finish the
campaign with a mark of 24-9 and won nine out of their final 10
games to close a historic season. Bloomfield is the first Central
Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) team, male or female, to
reach the NCAA Division II Elite 8.
"Unfortunately, we didn't play our best basketball tonight," Bloomfield head coacH Gerald Holmes said. "We didn't play defense, and we allowed them to shoot the three. We've had a great season, one that has been extremely important for our league, our institution, and our basketball program. These players understand now what it takes to get here, and that an even bigger target will be on our backs than ever before. I hope they'll work very hard this offseason to get back here."
Division II basketball's biggest stage saw the Deacons offense sputter in the early going as the Seasiders mounted a double-digit advantage midway through the opening half. BYU was able to connect on eight of their 14 three-point attempts and shot 53-percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes of action, but Bloomfield weathered the storm, riding Gage Day's 11 first-half points to keep them within striking distance. The Seasiders took a 44-37 advantage into the break.
The Seasiders had an answer for every Bloomfield spurt in the second half and didn’t allow the Deacons to get any closer than four points down. But each time BYU could feel the momentum shifting, a different veteran player would come up with a big bucket to knock the East Region champions back. Bloomfield would never erase the lead and the Seasiders pulled away late. Each side scored exactly 52 points in the final frame, but in the end it was the West Region champions who moved on to the Final Four Thursday afternoon.
Daye finished the evening with a game-high 34 points, saving one of his best performances of his brilliant senior campaign for the game's brightest lights. Junior guard Ahmad Harris contributed 13 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, while classmate Art Ellis came off the bench to tally 15 points in reserve, connecting on three of his six long-range attempts.
"I can't really put into words what this season has meant to me," Daye said. "The ride has been amazing. The dinners, the jokes, the experiences with my teammates. It's something I'll never forget."
"This was a great season for us, but we didn't meet our ultimate goal," Harris said. "I hope you all will look out for us next year."