Bulldogs fall to Academy of Individual Excellence

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By Laura Clark

LOUISVILLE -- The Bulldogs let a victory slip away Friday night at the Academy of Individual Excellence, 38-30.

Cornerstone was up, 24-15, in the first half, led by Nick Miller’s 11 points. The Bulldogs did a good job spreading the Cougars' defense, rotating the ball and making the right passes and cuts for smart baskets.

But that was the first half.

“The guys just forgot to play the second half,” Coach Darrick Briscoe said. “We got away from doing what we planned to do, from what got us the lead in the first half.”

AIE put up six quick points to open the third quarter, while the Bulldogs struggled to find their offense. When the Cougars hit a 3-pointer to tie the score at 24, Cornerstone finally responded.

After a near turnover on a pass, the Bulldogs settled down and moved the ball around, pulling AIE out of its 2-3 zone. T.J. Clarke got the ball on the wing, faked a shot and drove to put Cornerstone up 26-24. But AIE tied it again with an outside bucket to finish the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Cougars started beating Cornerstone down the court for easy layups in transition. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs took one-and-done shots that weren’t falling.

With 1 minute to play, Miller made a layup to cut the deficit to six points, but Cornerstone couldn’t get a steal and had fouled so very little that it had to waste almost 30 seconds to put the Cougars in the bonus.

The Cougars made all six of their free throws in the fourth quarter and combined with the Bulldogs’ ineffective offense that sealed the game.

Briscoe said the Bulldogs could have gotten their second victory of the season if they’d played as a team the second half. But they played more as individuals, he said.

“We saw where that got us,” Briscoe said. “It’s just the point of trying to put two halves together. Hopefully, the guys will learn something from this.”