The men’s basketball team split a pair of home games against Nebraska-Kearney and Fort Hays.
The University of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) Lopers defeated the Gorillas, Thursday, Jan. 21 (75-85). The men managed to bounce back, Saturday, Jan. 23 against the Fort Hays State University Tigers and rode an early lead in the first half to victory (79-68).
The UNK Lopers managed 12 three-point field goals in total and shot 58.6 from the field.
Quentin Hardrict led the Gorillas with 16 points, Ryan Pippins adding another 14. The Gorillas shot 41.2 percent from the field.
Against Fort Hays, the Gorillas scored the game’s first 14 points before carrying that lead into the second half. Fort Hays closed the gap in the second half, but the Gorillas held on to their lead and won by 11 points.
“I thought we did really well on Saturday against Fort Hays after not doing very well against Nebraska-Kearney,” said Head Coach Kim Anderson. “We came out against Hays and had a 32-point lead at the halftime, so I thought our guys responded well to our practice on Friday, our preparation. They came out with a great deal of intensity and we were able to get a big lead.”
According to Anderson, the whole team played well against Fort Hays on Saturday.
“In the Fort Hays game, Quentin Hardrict played extremely well,” Anderson said. “Bobby Arthur-Williams, I thought, played well. One of our freshman R.J. Forney came off the bench and really did a nice job. But to be honest… just about everybody on the team played well as opposed to the game on Thursday against Kearney. We struggled (against Kearney). We didn’t shoot the ball very well in the first half. Again, Quentin Hardrict had a pretty good and Ryan Pippins had a pretty good game. Fortunately, we were able to bounce back after a tough loss on Thursday and play Fort Hays…”
The Gorillas are on the road again this week. First, they will take up Northeastern State on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Tahlequah, Okla. After that, the team will go head-to-head with Rogers State on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 3:30 p.m. in Claremore, Okla.
“Well, I’m hoping that we play like we did the first half against Fort Hays,” Anderson said. “…After losing to Kearney, I think our guys kind of understand the importance of every game now. We don’t have that many games left and we’re kind of right there in the middle of the pack as far as making the post season tournament. So, I’m hoping our guys will come out and play with the same sort of intensity that they did against Fort Hays in the first half.”