Key Players out as Bobcats fall

Key Bobcats out as Bobcats fall
by Seth Rothman
2/22/07

HAMDEN — Adam Gonzalez spent the entire second half jumping up and down on the bench, waving a towel as he tried to will his team to victory from a seat halfway down the bench. Why was the Bobcats 2nd leading scorer benched in the second half?

“My decision,” Bobcats coach Joe DeSantis said. “I make decisions based on who I have a chance to win the game with.”

DeSantis never gave a definite reason why Gonzalez didn’t play in the second half of tonight’s embarassing 73-72 loss to St. Francis (PA), the NEC’s celler dwellers.

“Adam had an academic situation yesterday,” DeSantis said. “He had to take a test, and had to miss practice.”

Gonzalez wasn’t the only Bobcat player not playing tonight. Victor Akinyanju was in warmups all night, and sat at the end of the bench with a boot covering the sneaker on his left ankle.

“He hurt it getting on the bus at LIU, and then he went down at practice on Tuesday,” DeSantis said. “He didn’t practice yesterday, he was a wait and see for today. I was told no, so he’s going to have to respond better to treatment.”

Akinyanju, who suffered a sprained left knee on that bus in Brooklyn, N.Y., is day-to-day, but doubtful for Saturday’s Senior Day game against Robert Morris.

In Victor’s abscence, two players stepped up for the Bobcats this evening at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Etienne Labreque, a freshman forward from Montreal, Quebec, and senior swingman Dale Meinbresse both played well in the Bobcats loss.

“I think [Labreque] certainly earned [more playing time],” DeSantis said. “Good to know that Etienne got some minutes. You have to try to take positives out of every game.”

Meinbresse saw 18 minutes, many of them coming during key defensive stops to help the Bobcats claw back from an 11 point halftime deficit. “Dale is playing like a man possessed.” 

“Everyone would like the ship to sail smoothly,” DeSantis said. “Some people think it didn’t because of my decisions, but we had a chance to win, and that’s all that counts.”

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