The men’s basketball team defeated Nebraska Christian on Thursday, Nov. 29, ending the game with a final score of 107-63.
According to head coach Kim Anderson, the team got off to a “slow start but managed to turn the game around” and defeat Nebraska Christian College.
“I thought it was a game that we started off kind of slow and actually, in the first half, we didn’t play extremely well. Then, in the second half, I thought we did a much better job, especially on the defensive end,” Anderson said. “In the first half, we were not executing what we wanted to do and then in the second half, I thought we came out (and) probably played with a little more intensity and a little more passion maybe, and then we were able to obviously stretch the game out and it turned into a relatively easy win.”
During the game, several players stood out to Anderson.
“I really thought Grant Lozoya scored 32 points and only took 15 shots and made nine of them and was 11 for 11 from the free throw line. Donovan Franklin scored 20 points and had six assists and I thought (he) played well. Ray Elliot is a freshman who came off the bench and scored 15 points and we were happy to see that because we need to use a lot of our younger players. Trenton Clayton scored 12 points and he had nine rebounds which is good. Not only the points but getting the rebounds was… Critical for us,” Anderson said. “Then, I thought Demetrius Levarity did a good job of playing defense and kind of keeping everything together. Really, in the long run, it was kind of a team victory. (The) guys executed a lot better in the second half offensively and defensively which I thought enabled us to pull away.”
Anderson believes the new players on the team are settling in well with the more experienced players and that the team is connecting more with each game.
“I think we are getting better chemistry not only offensively but defensively. I think we have several new players and it takes time for them to kind of get comfortable and work together with the older players,” Anderson said. “I think probably if I had to pick one thing, that’s probably the main thing: …Our chemistry has gotten better on both ends of the floor.”
The men’s basketball team went head to head with Northeastern State on Wednesday, Dec. 5 and Central Oklahoma on Saturday, Dec. 8 in two MIAA games. Anderson hopes to see continual improvement from the team.
“I hope we continue to improve, (that) would be the right way to put it. Both of these teams are excellent basketball teams. Fortunately, they are coming here to John Lance Arena, so we hope we have a good crowd and a lot of support and that certainly helps our team and our women’s team. But both of them are very good teams. Both of them, I think, have won five or six games so far. I know Northeastern has much improved from last year, so it will be a difficult game. It will be a tough game,” Anderson said.