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October 28, 2012EL PASO, Texas - Forward [db]Malcolm Moore[/db] stretched his leg and looked into the crowd after exiting the game with a leg injury. As loud as he could, with the game resuming behind him, he showed his appreciation, even though it was a scrimmage.
"It's good to see you all. It's been a long eight months," Moore said.
In his first game since returning from a season-ending knee injury, Moore pulled down 12 rebounds, scored 12 points and his Blue team defeated the Orange team 72-64 in the second-annual Orange & White Scrimmage Oct. 27 at the Don Haskins Center.
Moore, who tore the ACL in his right knee Dec. 16, 2011 after playing in just seven games last season, called the feeling "unreal" to be "in front of this type of atmosphere again."
"I've been waiting for this moment for eight months and I just wanted to get back here and hustle and I'm going to keep hustling," Moore said.
He said that even though he didn't feel 100 percent, he's hoping to be back in better condition by the first game of the season. Seven of Moore's rebounds came on the offensive glass.
Forward [db]Julian Washburn[/db] also set the tone early for the Blue team, finishing with a game-high 19 points off 9-of-13 shooting. He began the game with an alley-oop that was set up by center [db]John Bohannon[/db].
"We knew that was going to be the first play of the game. We wanted to give the crowd a show early and that's what we did," Washburn said.
Washburn had 15 of his points by the end of the first half and hit seven of his first 10 shots. He also went 1-of-2 from beyond the perimeter and had five rebounds.
Rebounding was a key focus for head coach [db]Tim Floyd[/db], as he pit a post-heavy Orange team against a Blue team with four guards.
Forwards [db]Cedrick Lang[/db] and [db]Chris Washburn[/db], as well as center [db]Hooper Vint[/db] led the Orange team along with guard [db]Jacques Streeter[/db], and forward/guard [db]Twymond Howard[/db] and [db]Jalen Ragland[/db].
Julian, Moore and Bohannon were left with the task of having to control the boards against the Orange, which they were able to do so with five more team rebounds and six more offensive.
"They had a real big, physical team. We knew that if we were going to beat them, we were going to have to rebound as a team," Julian said. "We did a great job rebounding but overall, we held our own in the paint."
While the Orange team had three of the five post players on the team, the Blue team built their slim 31-29 halftime lead behind nine offensive rebounds. Orange had just two offensive boards in the half.
Floyd said he wasn't sure how much his team's rebounding had improved because they were just going against each other but he did applaud Moore's effort, as well as the rest of his post players.
"We were a poor rebounding team a year ago and hopefully (Moore) got the message. Cedrick Lang got the message," Floyd said. "Chris Washburn showed some flashes. All of our big guys looked good at times."
Floyd criticized his team's conditioning but was hoping a game such as this, with just one sub for each team, would help that area. He was also hoping both teams wouldn't become so relaxed on defense at the end of the game but said he anticipated that happening because of the conditioning.
"I thought as the game went on, we kind of got out of our stances, kind of become like an NBA All Star game with a dog-and-pony show late," Floyd said.
William Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter at @WillVega21. Make sure to follow Miner Illustrated on Twitter at @minermaniac for more up-to-date news and information about UTEP.