The men’s basketball team played a game on Saturday, Jan. 18 in Jefferson City, Missouri at Lincoln. The Gorillas lost the game by one point (84-85).
The Gorillas played a total of nine games over winter break. The team played a game against Henderson State on Wednesday, Dec. 18 but lost that game (78-88). Next up was Montana State Billings on Saturday, Dec. 21 and Drury on Sunday, Dec. 22 and the Gorillas lost both of those games as well (76-85, 92-94). After that the Gorillas took on Bethany on Tuesday, Dec. 31 and Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday, Jan. 4. The team lost those games as well (89-93, 80-81). The Gorillas managed to bounce back with a win against Fort Hays State on Monday, Jan. 6 (79-68). They followed that up with another win at Newman on Thursday, Jan. 9 (65-62). After that, the Gorillas played Central Oklahoma on Saturday, Jan. 11 but lost (73-78). They managed to get back on track with another win at Central Missouri on Wednesday, Jan. 15 (68-57).
Head coach Kim Anderson believes the team could’ve played better but ultimately fought hard.
“Well, I thought that coming off a win at Central Missouri, we didn’t play quite as well at Lincoln,” Anderson said. “I thought that against Lincoln, we started the game off pretty well but probably had an opportunity to extend the lead a little bit more than we did. We shot the ball well, but we still have a chronic problem of turning the ball over at inopportune times. So, certainly it was a game we led with 15 seconds left. They made a basket with about five seconds left to beat us. So, I thought we competed great, but we’ve had a lot of close games (where) we just couldn’t get over the hump. We haven’t been able to finish some games that we needed to.”
A couple of players stood out to Anderson during the game against Lincoln.
“I thought Marcel Cherry had a good game,” Anderson said. “He had 25 points. Christian Edmondson played well. Our biggest challenge has been just being consistent and so I think those two guys probably played the most consistent throughout the game…”
Though the team has improved quite a bit, Anderson hopes to see them continue improving throughout the rest of the season.
“…We’ve improved quite a bit since the beginning of the season, but we still need to cut down on turnovers and I think execute better offensively sometimes,” Anderson said. “We try to make plays, difficult plays, when there’s maybe an easier play that we could’ve made. But I’ve been encouraged by our improvement. We’re still not consistent defensively but I think we’ve improved here… since the break.”
The men’s team won a total of three games during winter break.
“I think we were kind of up and down (during the break),” Anderson said. “We had a good win against Central Missouri… We had a good win here at home against Newman. Again, we just haven’t been able to follow one good game up with another and we’re getting to that point of the season where we need to put a streak together if we hope to do anything in the post season. We went to Fort Hays and won, like I said we beat Newman here at home (and) we beat Central Missouri on the road. We have three home games in a row now (and) we need to try to take advantage of that.”