The University of Indianapolis men’s basketball team finished its regular season road trips with a 85-74 win over the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on Saturday, Feb. 20.
The first half was full of back and forth play while neither team was able to grab a substantial lead. Wisconsin-Parkside was able to grab a three point lead to go into the locker room up 38-35.
The second half did not prove to be much different, until 11 minutes remained and the Greyhounds had an 8-point lead, 64-56. From there it was all Hounds. UIndy’s largest lead was 13 points with 45 seconds to go.
Prior to the lead, the game was tied at 51-51 with 14 minutes remaining. Senior guard Jordan Loyd and sophomore guard Eric Davidson combined for 15 points during the Hounds 18-5 run.
Loyd led the game with a career high 36 points. He also finished with three steals. Senior guard Lucas Barker had two steals and redshirt sophomore guard/forward Alex Etherington had one steal. Senior forward Tyler Rambo and Barker finished with 12 points a piece. The Greyhounds combined for six blocks. Three of the blocks were from freshman forward Jesse Kempson.
Before beating Wisconsin-Parkside, the Hounds were defeated 101-89 by Lewis University on Feb. 18. The game concluded with a 29-10 run by the Flyers to secure them the win. Prior to the game, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Stan Gouard knew what needed to happen on the road trip.
“Well, you know, we’re playing for a lot right now. The regional rankings came out of course, and we’re No. 7. [As of Feb. 17, the Greyhounds ranked No. 5 in the NCAA Midwest Regional Rankings.] We know Lewis is not in the top eight right now. [As of Feb. 17, Lewis is ranked No. 7.] They take the top eight for post-season play, so we understand how this game is going to come out,” Gouard said. “Lewis has played us well over the course of the years. We handle them pretty well here, so we’re sure those guys probably circled us in the calendar. But again, quick starts [and] execution on the offensive end [need to happen for us to win], but [also] just maintaining that defensive edge that we had earlier in the season. I feel like we lost that the past seven or eight games, so those are going to be some keys to us winning the basketball game. [And] just defensively [we need to] stop [Lewis’ sophomore guard Max] Strus of course.”
The Hounds stopped Strus from having the game-high score, but he still scored 22 of the Flyers’ 101 points. Five Flyers had points in the double-digits, compared to the Greyhounds’ four. Senior guard Joe Retic led the Hounds with 25 points during the game. Barker had a double-double with 10 rebounds and 11 points.
An overtime game against the William Jewell College Cardinals ended in UIndy’s favor. Retic contributed 23 points to the 96 points the Greyhounds scored. Three other players had double-digit points.
The game appeared to be won by the Hounds in the deciding seconds after Rambo came up with an offensive rebound from a missed 3-pointer from Loyd. Rambo found the basket, and it was good, until the buzzer sounded and the referees reviewed the play. The shot was called off, and the game was forced into overtime. UIndy won 96-89 in overtime.
While taking on Rockhurst the Hawks hit 11 of their first 13 shots, making the score 27-14. Five of those shots were 3-pointers. By the end of the first half, the Hounds had closed the gap and were only down by two points, 45-43. The Greyhounds could not make a come back in the second half, and the final score was 98-93 Rockhurst.
Leading the Hounds in points for the game was Loyd with 28 points. Barker and Rambo followed with 17 apiece, and freshman guard Jimmy King and junior forward/center Ernest Maize had 10 each.
One regular season game remains in the Greyhounds’ schedule, and then post-season play will follow, but only for the top eight teams in the regional rankings. Rambo hopes to go out with a bang but also leave a little something behind to the younger players.
“I’m a senior, so I want to send all the seniors out the right way just by playing hard. And however far we go from there, [I also want to] show the younger guys what it takes to win at a high level and be a good example [for them],” Rambo said.
Throughout the season, Rambo has seen the team grow, on and off the court.
“I would probably say [we have grown in] maturity. I feel like there’s a lot [of ways we have changed throughout the season.] We couldn’t really take criticism and the coaches getting on us [at the beginning of the season]. We always responded in a negative way. But I think now we respond positive[ly], and we use that as motivation to get things done. So I think maturity would be our biggest, biggest improvement,” Rambo said. “We have more of a brotherhood now…. Everybody was new [for the most part]. I think we built a bond with each other [this year, and] that takes time, of course. So really [we’ve created a] friendship and brotherhood.”
Before traveling to Lewis and Wisconsin-Parkside, the Hounds had three games remaining. Now they have one, and Gouard knows the team needs to do well to put it in a good position for the post-season.
“Well, of course, we’re trying to earn a good berth into the post-season play. There’s three games left to be played, [and] we’ve got to take it one game at a time. But we’re just trying to get better, night in and night out,” he said. “We don’t have a problem scoring. We scored 93 points against Rockhurst, but we gave up 98. So scoring is not our problem. Our problem is generating some stops so we can win a ball game.”
The Greyhounds’ will play tonight against Saint Joseph’s College. Tip off is set for 7:45 p.m. The first round of Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament is slated to start on March 3.