The men’s basketball secured a victory against Emporia (73-69) in a road match, Thursday, Feb. 21.
Head coach Kim Anderson believes the team battled back in the second half to overcome a 14-point deficit and win the game.
“Well I thought we really showed a lot of resolve because we got behind in the second by as much as 14 points and one thing that I have always been proud of this team (for) is we have never given up,” Anderson said. “I thought when we got behind we kind of got ourselves together and fought our way back in. We had some guys down the stretch make some big plays Donovan Franklin, Grant Lozoya. We did a good job of defending them in the last probably… five or ten minutes but I think the important thing was that we just kind of stayed with it and we did not panic and we were able to get back in the game because we went through a stretch there early in the second half where we could not make shots (and) they got on a good run and fortunately we were able to hold in and then come back.”
According to Anderson the team played well but has room for improvement.
“I think really we were kind of inconsistent,” Anderson said. “We played good defense in spurts, we shot the ball well in spurts. I think we ended up shooting 44% and we held them to 37%, and then we shot 33& from the three point and they only shot 24 (percent) so I think our defense while it was not great I think at times it was really good. In the second half we shot 58% to their 35% and I think that is probably the difference in the game. We were able to score 15 points off turnovers (and) their mistakes and they could only score seven so little steps like that I think paid off for us. We did some things well, but we did not do them consistently, but we did them well enough to win.”
Several players stood out to Anderson during the game.
“…Donovan Franklin really played well especially at the end,” Anderson said. “He had 21 points. Grant Lozoya did not shoot the ball as well as he normally does but still made the big bucket at the end and had eight rebounds for us. Christian Edmondson continues to play well taking over for Trenton Clayton (who) broke his foot and is out for the year. He had 11 points and eight rebounds, so he has been a big help to us. One of our freshmen R.J. Lawrence came off the bench in the first half before he hurt his shoulder, so he only got to play eight minutes, but I thought he gave us a big boost.”
The last two matches of the regular season are agaisnt Nebraska-Kearney Thursday, Feb. 28 and Fort Hays on Saturday, Mar. 2.
“I am hoping that we will play a little bit better than we did here at home agaisnt Nebraska-Kearney and Fort Hays,” Anderson said. “Both of those games were games that went down to the wire, we lost by two points. We played without Donovan Franklin who was hurt during that time period. So, we are hoping we go to Kearney and can play well, maybe play better than what we did here and come away with a win. It is always tough to win at Hays but again I thought we played pretty well here (but) we just could not finish the game. Obviously, we want to go up there and try to win both games to enhance our seating in the post season tournament.”