The men’s basketball team played a game against Washburn on Saturday, Feb. 8 in Topeka but the Gorillas lost by one point (75-76).
Head coach Kim Anderson thought the team played well against Washburn.
“I thought we played well for the most part,” Anderson said. “Once again, it was a game that was extremely close, and we had opportunities to win. We made some mistakes down the stretch that cost us. But I thought our guys played pretty well against a team that’s ranked ahead of us. But (I’m) certainly disappointed that we weren’t able to pull it off.”
Anderson noticed a few things that the team needs to work on and improve before their next games.
“I think (we need to work on) late game situations, making good decisions down the stretch, taking care of the basketball, and doing a probably better job defensively not only late game but during the whole game,” Anderson said. “Our team has been inconsistent at times and I think that’s something that we continue to work on. We’ve gotten better at not turning the ball over, but we still have turned it over at critical times. So, hopefully we’re continuing to improve.”
During the game against Washburn, senior A.J. Walker made 10 field goals, senior Jah-Kobe Womack made five, junior Antonio Givens made three, and junior Xavier Womack made three. Walker, sophomore Ray Elliot, senior Marcel Cherry, and junior Dejon Waters Jr. all made two three-point field goals apiece. Givens made four free throws and Xavier, Jah-Kobe, and Waters Jr. all made two free throws apiece. Givens made a total of eight rebounds, Xavier had seven, Walker had six, and Waters Jr. had five.
A couple of players stood out to Anderson during the game against Washburn.
“A.J. Walker had 22 points and five assists,” Anderson said. “He did a really good job of running our team. Jah-Kobe Womack had 13 points and Antonio Givens had 10 points and eight rebounds which was great. Xavier Womack continues to play better. He’s getting more playing time (and he) had seven rebounds. So, we had some guys that played well offensively.”
Consistency has typically been one of Anderson’s concerns throughout the season and he hopes to see the team continue working on that.
“… I think we need to be more consistent on both ends of the floor, take care of the basketball a little bit better, and make good decisions in the last five or 10 minutes of the game so that we hold on to leads,” Anderson said. “We had an eight-point lead and we gave it up and they made a free throw with, I think, seven or eight seconds left to win. So, we just need to be more consistent.”
The Gorillas also played a game at home against Missouri Western on Wednesday, Feb. 12 but lost the game (79-95).
In the game against Missouri Western, Elliot made six field goals, Jah-Kobe made five, Walker and Givens each made four, and Xavier made three. Jah-Kobe made two three-point field goals and Elliot and Walker each made one. Walker made a total of six rebounds, Jah-Kobe and Xavier each made five rebounds, Givens made four, and Waters Jr. made three.
The Gorillas next game is against Northwest Missouri at home on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 3:30 p.m. in the John Lance Arena.