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  • 5 Years Later...

    Tonight marks the 5 year anniversary of "The Shot." It was March 17th, 2015 that Brandon Norfleet buried a corner three-pointer in the waning seconds of the Atlantic Regional Championship game to lift Joe Lombardi and IUP over St. Crutch and West Liberty. Final score: 77-74.

    I remember being a senior in college that year. I was doing my internship in my last semester at my current job. I had just moved to Columbus, Ohio that January. I remember driving almost 3 hours from Columbus that afternoon to get to the game and meet up with my friends who took the fan bus down. We celebrated, got to be on the court during the net-cutting ceremonies, and then I turned around and drove right back to Columbus. It's always worth the trip if you win.

    What a basketball game that was. I remember it just had everything. Back and forth all night. It was sad that one of them had to lose the game. Unlike all other West Liberty's losses, the Toppers didn't "shoot bad" that evening. They were beat.

    What are your memories from that night?

    In my opinion, that marked the end of an era to a degree. That was the last year where the Atlantic Region only belonged to West Liberty and IUP. Since that night, IUP hasn't been out of the 2nd round in the NCAA Tournament, and West Liberty has only gotten back to Tuesday once. It's a different region now.

  • #2
    That was a fantastic game. I recall listening to it on my car radio while on the road. Amazing IUP sports moment when Norfleet hit that shot. Didn't DeVante find him with a good feed??

    I also recall the 2011 barnburner IUP-West Lib had down there. That was quite a game as well. IUP came up short on that one. I think there were several others that were fab games as well between them. It didn't get much better than that.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by IUP CRIMSON HAWKS View Post
      That was a fantastic game. I recall listening to it on my car radio while on the road. Amazing IUP sports moment when Norfleet hit that shot. Didn't DeVante find him with a good feed??

      I also recall the 2011 barnburner IUP-West Lib had down there. That was quite a game as well. IUP came up short on that one. I think there were several others that were fab games as well between them. It didn't get much better than that.

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      Devante drove the lane hard and drew a second guy. Norfleet was left wide open in the corner. It was a massive breakdown given how good Devante was playing during that stretch. They just couldn't led him go to the hole with only one man on him. Norfleet's parents were sitting behind me and my friends. What a moment.

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      • #4
        One of the underappreciated players on that 2015 IUP team was Devon Cottrell. He came in as a classic Joe Lombardi big man, but really changed his body and became very athletic around the rim and in the low post. In my opinion, the play that swung that game was when WL had a steal in their own end and started out on a fast break the other way. Cottrell ran the floor and had a massive block from behind off the backboard. Devante Chance picked up the loose ball and ran the floor for a layup and swung all the momentum to IUP. If I recall, that was around the 6 minute mark. I think that was the moment I knew that IUP was going to win the basketball game.

        They pretty much controlled the rest of the way despite a furious charge from WL in the last 2 minutes.

        It's crazy how you can remember moments like that years later. I've watched a lot of sports in my life. That game really sticks out.

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        • #5
          I've watched, in person, probably 200+ IUP football games and -- and I don't even want to know how many basketball games. I can name about 5 in each sport that stand out. The rest, while seeming important at the time, fade away. Not all wins, by the way.

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          • #6
            Fun stat: IUP men's basketball has won the West 10 of the past 11 years (most outright and at least one shared).

            The year in that stretch they didn't ... 2014-15. The same year they made it to the national title game. That team played on Monday in the PSAC Tournament after finishing third in the West.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by IUP24 View Post
              Tonight marks the 5 year anniversary of "The Shot." It was March 17th, 2015 that Brandon Norfleet buried a corner three-pointer in the waning seconds of the Atlantic Regional Championship game to lift Joe Lombardi and IUP over St. Crutch and West Liberty. Final score: 77-74.

              I remember being a senior in college that year. I was doing my internship in my last semester at my current job. I had just moved to Columbus, Ohio that January. I remember driving almost 3 hours from Columbus that afternoon to get to the game and meet up with my friends who took the fan bus down. We celebrated, got to be on the court during the net-cutting ceremonies, and then I turned around and drove right back to Columbus. It's always worth the trip if you win.

              What a basketball game that was. I remember it just had everything. Back and forth all night. It was sad that one of them had to lose the game. Unlike all other West Liberty's losses, the Toppers didn't "shoot bad" that evening. They were beat.

              What are your memories from that night?

              In my opinion, that marked the end of an era to a degree. That was the last year where the Atlantic Region only belonged to West Liberty and IUP. Since that night, IUP hasn't been out of the 2nd round in the NCAA Tournament, and West Liberty has only gotten back to Tuesday once. It's a different region now.
              52% shooting from the floor
              14-23 on 3s
              6 turnovers

              That’s the stat line for the team that lost. Hard to imagine seeing a better played game on both sides than that one.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post
                Fun stat: IUP men's basketball has won the West 10 of the past 11 years (most outright and at least one shared).

                The year in that stretch they didn't ... 2014-15. The same year they made it to the national title game. That team played on Monday in the PSAC Tournament after finishing third in the West.
                It's interesting that you say that, because I discovered that same stat this year entering the regional. I saw IUP post a tweet that said "10 PSAC West Championships in the last 11 years." So I was curious, "which year didn't they win it?" That's amazing.

                The thing about that team was that they peaked late. They probably weren't the "best" IUP team I have watched, maybe they were - tough to pin it exactly, but they were just playing so well down the stretch. The one thing I can vividly remember is that things changed when Shawn Dyer started to take on more ownership of the offense. It took Brandon Norfleet going out with a knee injury to make that happen though. He missed like 4-6 games. I remember thinking, "this team might not make the tournament." Turns out that was the moment that made it all click.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by IUP24 View Post

                  It's interesting that you say that, because I discovered that same stat this year entering the regional. I saw IUP post a tweet that said "10 PSAC West Championships in the last 11 years." So I was curious, "which year didn't they win it?" That's amazing.

                  The thing about that team was that they peaked late. They probably weren't the "best" IUP team I have watched, maybe they were - tough to pin it exactly, but they were just playing so well down the stretch. The one thing I can vividly remember is that things changed when Shawn Dyer started to take on more ownership of the offense. It took Brandon Norfleet going out with a knee injury to make that happen though. He missed like 4-6 games. I remember thinking, "this team might not make the tournament." Turns out that was the moment that made it all click.
                  Once that team came together it had very little weakness.

                  The rotation that year was:


                  DeVante Chance
                  Tevin Hanner
                  Jeremy Jeffers
                  Devon Cottrell
                  Shawn Dyer
                  Brandon Norfleet
                  Daddy Ugbede
                  Manny Yarde (it didn't help having him basically suspended in the E8)



                  That's D2 ... get three elite guards, and, in this case, some solid post players. Daddy was the low-post scorer. Cottrell was the defender. Hanner was the garbage man. The 'garbage man' is an actual position in Joe's vocabulary/roster, by the way.



                  This year's team versus that team would have been an interesting game.

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                  • #10
                    And IUP has been dodging WLU ever since. Last year you lost on purpose the round before having to face the Toppers and this year IUP scientists created a global pandemic to cancel the whole DII tourney rather taking a chance of facing, and losing to, WLU!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by boatcapt View Post
                      And IUP has been dodging WLU ever since. Last year you lost on purpose the round before having to face the Toppers and this year IUP scientists created a global pandemic to cancel the whole DII tourney rather taking a chance of facing, and losing to, WLU!!
                      That’s hilarious!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by IUPalum View Post

                        That’s hilarious!
                        Heck...Joe has even purposely tanked the season twice since 2015 to avoid having the chance of facing the Toppers in the Atlantic Regional tourney!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chuck Norris View Post

                          52% shooting from the floor
                          14-23 on 3s
                          6 turnovers

                          That’s the stat line for the team that lost. Hard to imagine seeing a better played game on both sides than that one.
                          Good Lord! That is some stat there. Unreal to have team stats like that and still lose. That just doesn't happen.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by IUP CRIMSON HAWKS View Post

                            Good Lord! That is some stat there. Unreal to have team stats like that and still lose. That just doesn't happen.

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                            IUP clobbered them on the glass that night and WL only got the FT line for 7 attempts the whole game.

                            It was a classic.

                            That multiple OT game the year before was, too. WL won that one by a point. That game never should have went to OT. IUP missed two huge FTs in the final minute. Still painful.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by IUPbigINDIANS View Post

                              IUP clobbered them on the glass that night and WL only got the FT line for 7 attempts the whole game.

                              It was a classic.

                              That multiple OT game the year before was, too. WL won that one by a point. That game never should have went to OT. IUP missed two huge FTs in the final minute. Still painful.
                              Yeah, I remember that one very good as well. They sure got together for some great games for half a decade or so there. D-II hoops didn't get any better than that!

                              -

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