Men’s basketball wins last home game of the season

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 Junior Guard Eric Davidson tries to get through two defenders in the win against Olivet Nazarene on Dec. 10. Photo by Jennifer Ulery

Junior Guard Eric Davidson tries to get through two defenders in the win against Olivet Nazarene on Dec. 10. Photo by Jennifer Ulery

The Hounds defeated the Olivet Nazarene University Tigers in the final home game of the University of Indianapolis men’s basketball team season.

In the first minutes of the game, the Tigers trailed closely behind UIndy until the Hounds sparked a 23-9 run to strengthen the lead. At half, the Greyhounds led 46-34.

In the beginning of the second half, the Tigers fought back and shorted UIndy’s lead to nine points. Shortly after, the Hounds scored a 21-7 run before sealing their win with a score of 85-62.

Freshman guard Tate Hall, junior guard Eric Davidson,  junior guard Alex Etherinton, sophomore forward Jesse Kempson and sophomore guard Jimmy King all scored in double digits, while the team finished with a shooting percentage of 50 percent from the field.

The Hounds lost to the Lewis University Flyers on Dec. 3 the previous Saturday. The Flyers opened the game by making eight of the 11 beginning shots, giving them a 14-4 run.

Their 18-12 lead then set the tone for the rest of the game. The 33-26 lead for the Flyers was turned in to a 36-33 lead as a result of free throws by sophomore King. The Flyers pushed through to a brisk 43-33 lead. Just before halftime, King made a 3 point shot, which brought the Hounds to just seven points behind Lewis at the halftime break.

In the second half, Lewis kept the Hounds at a distance and kept the lead. Together Hall and Davidson were able to hit a 3-pointer, tightening the score.

The game ended as a defeat for the Hounds with a score of 75-70.  Kempson led the Hounds and provided 21 points alongside King who added 16 points, Hall 14 and junior guard D.J. Davis 10.

On Dec. 1, the team played without regulars Davidson and redshirt junior guard Ajay Lawton. A 12-0 run from Etherington and redshirt junior center Milos Cabarkapa gave the Hounds the lead to begin the game. The Rangers fought back with a 9-0 run before Davis sparked the Hounds offense with a jumper. UIndy sparked another run at the end of the first half which brought them to a 41-38 lead going into the break.

The Rangers did not score until 5:38 was left in the second half, which sparked the Rangers offense, and took the lead that they would keep for the rest of the game.

The game concluded with a score of 63-61 in favor of the Rangers. Davis led the match, contributing 15 points, alongside both King and Kempson scored 10 points each and Etherington scored 7 points.

Through the losses, the team has already made improvements this season and are looking to advance even more, according to Head Men’s Basketball Coach Stan Gouard.

“I feel like we got better,” Gouard said. “We struggled in a lot of areas that we have been struggling in, but I feel like overall out intensity is picking up. Our defense is getting better. [It’s] not where it should be yet, but we are doing some things on the court as a team that we weren’t doing two-and-a-half weeks ago. So, there’s a lot of positive things to build off of. You know, even though we didn’t get the results we wanted, there’s a lot of positives coming from those games.”

This season’s defeats have affected the Hounds, who aren’t used to being on the losing side, according to Gouard.

“It has affected us quite a bit because, you know, our pedigree. We’re not used to losing,” Gouard said. “We’ve had a number of successful seasons, but at the end of the day, we have a lot of new guys on the basketball team. We lost a lot last year.  The schedule has been pretty tough. There’s a lot of things that we can say that have kind of hindered what’s going on. I told our guys we’re not making excuses, but those are the facts. We have a tough schedule; we got a lot of new guys; but at the same time, we still have to play the game.”

Despite the tough start, the players still show pride and are remaining positive as the season continues, according to Davidson.

“I’m proud of how everyone has handled this tough start,” Davidson said.  “I know we don’t usually get off to bad starts like this, but I’m proud of how we’re coming together and trying to handle adversity in the best way that we can. So I’m proud of people just staying positive and getting better every day.”

The recent losses have led Gouard to believe changes need to be made in regard to playing together as a team.

“The changes we have to make are all within you know finishing plays, of course on [the] defensive side,” said Gouard. “Then, just playing with more intensity and passion. I feel like we didn’t do that. We did it dispersed but we didn’t do it consistently.…We have to become more of a family off of the court, which makes it hard to give up on each other. We have to play for each other, not just for ourselves. You know, I told the guys we can’t be selfish right now and think about our individual stats. We have to play for that man next to us.”

With the rest of the season coming up, the Hounds still have time for a comeback.

“I’m looking forward to picking the schedule up,” Gouard said.  “Our goal is to get back to 500 before Christmas break. We have a home game this weekend and two on the road, so we can get back to 500 pretty quick, but it’s not going to be easy.”

The Hounds will travel to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Dec. 16 to play against the Nova Southeastern Sharks. Tip off will be at 7:30 p.m.

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