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Bookstore Basketball XXXV: Bad Draw wins, rides off into sunset

Jay Fitzpatrick | Monday, May 1, 2006

Chinedum Ndukwe nailed a free throw at the rain-soaked Bookstore courts Sunday to secure top-seed U Got a Bad Draw’s 26-24 victory over No. 10 Saltines and the 2006 Bookstore Championship Sunday.

The game marked the final contest for at least some of the two-time champions, as Ndukwe announced after the game he and fellow Bad Draw member Brady Quinn are retiring from Bookstore Basketball and will not return to play next season.

With a 1-point lead, No. 1 Bad Draw gained control of the ball thanks to a controversial over-and-back call, a decision that lead to the Ndukwe basket. Ndukwe was fouled in the lane and, despite missing the majority of his foul shots during the contest, made the one shot that counted the most for his team.

“Chinedum carried us at the end of the game,” Bad Draw captain Eric Laumann said. “He was heckled pretty badly throughout the game, but he’s a Division-One athlete and he was able to play well in spite of it.”

Ndukwe took control of the game for his team in the extra time, scoring most of his teams baskets after the teams had reached the 21-point mark – a performance that helped win him the Bookstore MVP award.

“It could have gone to anyone else on the team,” Ndukwe said. “Laumann, [Dan] Schultz, [Chris] Devitt, or [David] Fitzgerald. We played a great team game and throughout the whole tournament it was a full team effort.”

Although Ndukwe’s 10 points and nine rebounds were best on his team, the real star of the championship game was this year’s Mr. Bookstore – freshman Carl Andersen, who became a quick crowd favorite with his tough defense and long-range shooting.

Andersen scored 13 points and netted five rebounds as the Saltines’ point guard, and he single-handedly brought his team to overtime by scoring four straight baskets in the game after Bad Draw took a 19-16 lead.

“It feels great to be honored with the Mr. Bookstore award,” Andersen said. “But if we’ve shown anything this year it’s that team basketball prevails; the way I see it, the Saltines all won Mr. Bookstore.”

Going into the game, Bad Draw felt confident about their chances and their ability to use their size and experience to win the game, despite not having Irish quarterback Brady Quinn in the lineup. Ndukwe quipped that Quinn was in Los Angeles for a movie reading.

But the young Saltines – consisting of four sophomores and a freshman – came ready to play and were able to out-rebound Bad Draw for much of the game. Despite the effort, the Saltines kept the game out of their own reach in the first half with poor second-chance shooting in the paint.

As the Saltines crept closer in the second half, it looked as though the top-ranked team might falter, but they held strong and were able to finish their Bookstore careers on a high note.

“It’s good to finish the right way with a W,” Ndukwe said.