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HomeNewsArchivesMan Dem Squeaks By Ujima 83-82 to Advance to Second Round

Man Dem Squeaks By Ujima 83-82 to Advance to Second Round

Aug. 9, 2007 — Man Dem overcame another slow start Tuesday to knock Ujima out of the playoffs by a score of 83-82.
As in the first game of the best-of-three series, Ujima started fast and looked set to extend the series beyond Tuesday night at the Educational Complex gymnasium, but in the end Man Dem found a way to come back and pull out the victory. Unlike the first game, Ujima had a much better chance to win this game as both teams battled hard in the fourth quarter during a thrilling stretch run.
A couple of things may have swung the advantage slightly to Man Dem in the end. The first came when Jerome Nathaniel picked up his fifth foul. The second was a key turnover by point guard Kareem Degrasse with the game tied at 79 and 10.9 seconds left on the clock. The Ujima fans’ emotions quickly went from elation to despair on the turnover, especially after Andy Chelcher hit two huge free throws to give Man Dem a lead that they would not relinquish again.
The first quarter was all Ujima as they burst out of the gate and outscored Man Dem in the period 23-15, highlighted by three threes from way downtown.
Led by Khalid Gerard with 10 points and Glenroy Coggins, who netted eight points in the second quarter, Man Dem battled back to trail by just one at the break at 38-37. The stage was now set for one of the most thrilling finishing halves in the league’s short history.
Man Dem started fast in the third quarter with an 8-1 run to quickly open up the biggest margin that would separate the two teams in the second half, a six-point lead at 45-39. Back came Ujima with a 6-2 run of their own, highlighted by four straight points from Andre McIntosh, and the score was knotted at 45 with five minutes left in the third.
A 5-1 run by Man Dem, highlighted by a three from Amon Thomas, allowed them to retake the lead at 50-46. In a quarter of runs, Ujima, led by McIntosh, responded with a 13-6 run to end the quarter with a three-point lead at 59-56.
Six straight points by Malik Hodge to open the fourth quarter gave Man Dem a three-point lead at 62-59 to the delight of their very vocal, diehard fans. Man Dem’s fans are so into the game that they not only get on the referees for what they believe to be suspect calls, but they also let their team’s players know when they mess up.
With Man Dem leading 69-67, Ujima’s Kassim Smith had a put back to tie the game at 69 with 4:04 left. Gerard then hit a three to give the lead back to Man Dem at 72-69, but Smith hit again to bring his team to within one at 72-71. A 4-1 run and Ujima was back in front 75-73.
Chelcher then tied the game again at 75 with 1:34 left, followed by ties at 77 and then 79 with 31.6 seconds left and Man Dem in possession. Man Dem missed and Ujima came away with the rebound. In his haste to get the ball up court, and pressured by a Man Dem defender, Degrasse lost control and Man Dem’s Chelcher came up with the ball. He was quickly fouled with 10.9 left in the game and hit his two free throws to give Man Dem an 81-79 lead.
Ujima closed the gap to one at 81-80 on their next possession as McIntosh was fouled and hit one of two free throws. Ujima then fouled Gerard on the inbound with 4.3 seconds left. He calmly hit both free throws to give Man Dem an 83-80 lead. With the defense guarding the three-point line, Ujima could only come up with a put back by Degrasse after a missed three as time expired.
Gerard led four Man Dem players in double figures with 22 points. Chelcher netted 14 and Coggins and Hodge chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively. For Ujima, McIntosh finished with a game-high 24 points. Jerome Nathaniel scored 17, Degrasse netted 16 and Smith finished with 11.
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