The men’s basketball team played two games against Missouri Southern State University Saturday, Feb. 16 and Tuesday, Feb. 19. The team lost both games (84-95, 81-94).
Head coach Kim Anderson believes the team fought back hard.
“Well we did not do very well,” Anderson said. “Obviously, we got beat in both games. I thought that the game on Saturday we got behind early and got back in the second half to where we got to one point with five or six minutes left to go and then kind of went cold. We could not make any baskets, turned the ball over a few times and they came away with a win. Last night, we got behind early and we were down, I think, 18 at the half but then we got it back to 10. We cut it down two or three times. We never could make the key shots to get closer. But I was proud (of) the way our guys fought back in both games really. We just need to do a better job of starting games. We have had some guys injured and we have some guys that are out for the year because of injuries and so we are just trying to piece everything together. Hopefully, we can play well here down the stretch in these last three games.”
According to Anderson, consistency and confidence are the most substantial setbacks.
“I think the biggest concern I have with our team is just consistency,” Anderson said. “I think sometimes we do a good job in all phases of the game. Defensively we do a good job, rebounding but then we have lapses and I think that is what has costs us in this streak that we are on (where) we haven’t been able to win any games. It is not like we are getting beat by 30. Little things get you turnovers, missed rebounds, not getting a loose ball things like that and so I think some of it is consistency. Some of it is confidence. I think our guys are a group of guys that want to win and when you don’t win, it gets tougher. Like I said earlier, we have three regular season games left and they are all on the road, so I am hopeful that our guys will come out and play with more consistency. I think if we do that we will have a better chance of winning.”
Several players stood out to Anderson during the games.
“Grant Lozoya and Donovan Franklin, those are guys who have consistently led us in scoring,” Anderson said. “Donovan’s has been hurt so he is just now coming back and playing. Our two centers are out for the year so Christian (Edmondson) has stepped in and really done a great job. I think of anybody he has played extremely well and has continued to improve throughout the year. I think he is a guy that certainly it is kind of neat to watch him grow and get better as a player.”
Anderson hopes the team will bring home a victory in the last three matches of the regular basketball season.
“I hope we win,” Anderson said. “My hope is that we play better for 40 minutes, that we play more consistently for 40 minutes and, again I go back to what we said earlier, I think that is a big key for us. We will play well in spurts, we will do a good job defensively in spurts and then we will have a letdown. We are a team that (is) mixed with younger and older guys so we are playing some younger guys now and giving them an opportunity so hopefully, those guys will step up and our older guys will become more consistent and hopefully, we can win some games.”
The end of the seasoning is approaching and after that comes the MIAA conference tournament.
“I hope we can win. I hope we can win these last three games and then go to the tournament in Kansas City and play well and see where it goes from there,” Anderson said. “… If we get everybody back together and get everybody playing I think we are a team that has a chance to win some games in the conference tournament. So that is kind of what we are working for.”
The next games are against Nebraska-Kearney and Fort Hays State Thursday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, Mar. 2.