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Magic Reliford, sophomore, breaks past Northeastern State's defense in the men's home basketball game on Jan. 27. Caleb Oswell

Men’s Basketball splits home games

Magic Reliford, sophomore, breaks past Northeastern State’s defense in the men’s home basketball game on Jan. 27. Caleb Oswell

The men’s basketball team hosted Northeastern State University on Jan 27th, and Rogers State University on Jan 29th. They fell to the River Hawks 54-60, and beat the Hillcats 88-79.

The game against the Riverhawks started slow for the Gorillas, taking a 15-32 deficit at halftime.

“The game was slow, I feel it kind of doomed us and I feel if we had gotten a better start to the game we probably could of gotten a different outcome,” said graduate student guard Ryan Pippins.

Despite the slow start, the Gorillas did make an effort to battle back in the second half, outscoring the Riverhawks 39-28 but could not get it done in the final stretch.

With the strong battle back in the second half, some of the Gorillas were able to get great points on the board. Pippins finished with 16 points and one rebound, and freshman forward Cameron Huefner finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, and two assists. Pippins was able to feel great, being able to put up the most points for the team.

“I feel like I played great… but even with that I always feel that there is something I can do better, such as I could have been more aggressive overall,” Pippins said.

After the loss, the Gorillas then hosted the Hillcats, and after being on a long losing streak they were able to pull out the win in a great fashion.

They started off great with taking a one point lead at halftime- 36-35. They used that strength and battled through the second half and were able to take the win by a whopping 9 points.

A great thing about the game, were some guys who don’t normally play were able to get in there and score some points.

“ For me as an upperclassman, it felt really good to get to see those guys get some playing time that normally don’t and they got to contribute to the big win,” Pippins said.

Quite a few players were able to get great points on the board as well against the Hillcats. Senior forward Zach Burch scored 10 points as well as four rebounds, graduate student forward Antonio Given II with 11 points and five rebounds, and junior guard Ike Moore finished with 15 points, three rebounds, and two assists.

This win was a great step in the right direction for the Gorillas. They got off to a slow start for the season, sitting at 5-15 now. Taking this win gives the team a positive attitude going into the last stretch of games in February.

“I feel that this win gives us lots of energy going into the rest of the season and helps give us lots of confidence as well as bringing us together more of a team, I think it will be the start of a winning streak,” Pippins said.

The Gorillas will attempt to continue a winning streak when they travel to Lincoln University (MO) on Saturday Feb. 5th at 3pm.

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