The men’s basketball team lost a pair of road games against Northwest Missouri on Thursday, Feb. 11 (75-87) and Missouri Western on Saturday, Feb. 13 (81-82).
“Well, I thought we played pretty well,” Head Coach Kim Anderson said. “…Northwest is one of the top teams in the country and I thought we did a pretty good job. We got a great performance from Ethan Holloway because he hasn’t played a whole lot. He came in and scored 21 points… Zach Butch is out and Bobby Arthur-Williams is out.., that’s two starters. So, we’re trying to mandate it together until we can get those guys back. Saturday’s game against Missouri Western, we had a great performance from Quentin Hardrict and Antonio Givens. Both of those guys scored 20 plus points and we had a chance to win the game at the end. Martin Vogts made a great shot with 5.1 seconds left, I believe, and then they came down and we actually did a pretty good job of guarding them… That’s the way it goes, and you just got to move on to the next game. But I was proud of the way they played. I thought we played hard. It was a tough road trip, but I was happy (with) the way we responded.”
Ethan Holloway, junior in psychology, Holloway scored a career high 21 points against Northwest Missouri.
“I believe at northwest we played pretty well,” Holloway said. “We shot a very high percentage from the field, northwest is just a very good basketball team. They capitalize on mistakes made by their opponents really well and that’s what hurt us in the end. Missouri western was a really tough loss. We were battling the whole game and really didn’t play bad by any means. We just made some mistakes at the wrong times of the game which helped them keep their momentum throughout. I felt that the team overall played pretty well last week, just made a couple mistakes at bad points in both games that really hurt us down the stretch.”
Against Missouri Western, Martin Vogts helped the Gorillas take the lead with a three pointer with only 5.1 seconds left to play but Missouri Western rushed to outscore PSU and took the game.
“…I think everybody contributed,” Anderson said. “…I would single out Martin Vogts. He made a great shot to put us ahead against Missouri Western and shot the ball pretty well the entire weekend. Ryan Pippins had eleven points one night and ten the next. But really our whole team came in and did a nice job. Hopefully we can… learn from our mistakes from these two games and move on. We only have three games left. So, we need to get to work.”
The thing that stands out to Holloway the most at both games was the Gorillas’ offensive rebounding.
“…They (Northwest Missouri) had a couple of huge offensive rebounds that stole a few key possessions for us,” Holloway said. “I also thought that the bench unit came out and gave a big spark to the team. Our bench points were quite high in that game and I thought that really helped keep us competitive throughout. At Missouri Western, offensive rebounding was huge for them as well. There were a few possessions toward the end of the game where they would miss a shot and we couldn’t get the rebound. Offensive rebounding really is what hurts us the most down the stretch.”
Holloway has high hopes for the last couple of games of the season.
“I think we have a really good shot at making some noise in the MIAA over the next couple weeks,” Holloway said. “We’re an extremely talented team who is very focused on winning. We all work hard every day and are truly dedicated to what we do. We’re going into the last few weeks confident in ourselves and our ability to win. We will prepare well for every game thanks to the scouting done by the coaching staff, and we will be prepared for the games ahead.”
The Gorillas will travel to Joplin to go head-to-head with Missouri Southern on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m.
“I hope we can finish the game,” Anderson said. “I hope we can make the plays that we need to, execute well, do a little bit better job of not giving up second chance opportunities to southern and obviously we’ve been shooting the ball pretty well so… I hope we can continue to do that.”