Men’s basketball splits week away 1-1

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Last week, the University of Indianapolis men’s basketball team split the week with a win against Truman University on Feb. 2, and a loss later in the week to Quincy University.

On Saturday, the Hounds traveled to battle the Hawks, falling 89-82. The Hawks quickly started the game, hitting their first 3-pointer on the first possession. They maintained the lead until  junior guard Alex Etherington hit two free throws to take the lead. Both teams struggled to maintain the lead, but Quincy ended the first half with a five point run, going into halftime with a 43-46 lead.

The Hounds scored the first point of the second half, which the Hawks quickly answered back to. The second half proved to be much like the first with multiple changes in the lead, with the score ending in the Hawks favor.

Junior Eric Davidson attempts to add two points on the board while fighting through two Bellarmine defenders.

Junior Eric Davidson attempts to add two points on the board while fighting through two Bellarmine defenders.

Junior guard Eric Davidson lead the team in scoring with 22 points, while Jimmy King and Etherington followed closely with 18 and 14 points.

Prior to the loss, the team took on the Bulldogs in Kirksville, Mo. who were previously tied atop the Great Lakes Valley Conference West Division and took home a 94-86 victory.

Davidson scored a 3-pointer just seconds into the game, which set the pace for the rest of the first half. UIndy went into halftime with a 10 point lead over the Bulldogs. The Hounds maintained this lead until early in the second half, when the Bulldogs had a 14 point run which brought the score to 60-53.

The Hounds quickly evened out the score with consecutive scoring from King, junior forward Roderick Davis and Davidson. Scoring went back and forth between the teams until the Hounds ended with an 11 point run to take home the win.

Redshirt junior guard Ajay Lawton and Davidson totaled 24 points each, which was a personal best for Lawton. King also set a personal record with eight assists, as well as adding 9 points.

Before the match-up, Davidson said that the team has a chance to be very successful once they put a few key skills together.

Previously, the Hounds also defeated the University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles on Jan. 28.

During the first minutes of the game, the Hounds kept the Screaming Eagles’ score in single digits. It was not until the 10 minute that USI hit a 3-pointer to take the lead and brought the score to 19-18. The Greyhounds came back, and managed a three point lead at the half with a score of  38-35.

Beginning the second half, the Hounds stretched their lead to 11 points. The Screaming Eagles struggled to find a dent in their opponents’ defense as the minutes drained on the clock. During the final minutes, the Screaming Eagles worked on a come-back, adding four unanswered points but came short, and the Hounds took home the win 81-66.

King scored a career-high 19 points during the game, going 7-11 in field goal attempts and 3-4 from the 3-point line. Sophomore forward Jesse Kempson, Davidson, Etherington and Davis also scored in double digits. The team finished with a shooting percentage of 61 percent from the field and 47 percent from the 3-point line.

The Hounds lost their seven-game winning streak on Jan. 26, after a loss to 10th-ranked Bellarmine University Knights. During the first minutes of the game, the Knights kept a steady lead until a 3-point field goal from freshman guard Tate Hall tied the score 11-11.

The Hounds and Knights kept up their offense and neither team stretched the lead beyond four points for the rest of the first half. Leading into the half the Knights were ahead by four, until two successful free throws from Etherington, which brought the score to 30-32.

In the second half, the Knights kept the Hounds’ offense from scoring and maintained the lead. When the game clock hit 1:15, the Hounds sparked and scored 14 points in what looked to be a last-minute comeback. After a free throw attempt from Davidson, the score was 72-75 with 30 seconds of game time remaining.

The Knights stretched their lead with six free throws that the Hounds could not answer.  The game ended with a defeat for the Hounds, 75-81.

Head Men’s Basketball Coach Stan Gouard said that he noticed what clicked with the team and noted that a performance like that would have won the game if  the Hounds had not started playing too late.

“We started defending, we got our hands on some basketballs, got some deflections, got layups and ignited the crowd,” Gouard said. “We just waited too late to start playing. I feel like had we played that way for at least 10 or 15 minutes, we’d have had a chance to win that ball game.”

Davidson led the Hounds, scoring 18 points, but had a season-low 3-10 from the 3-point line. Davidson said he is confident his work during practice will bring back his usually good performance.

“[I need to] just keep shooting,” Davidson said. “Keep shooting, keep practicing and I know the shots will fall in the next game.”

Also in double digits were Etherington with 17, Kempson with 13 and Lawton with 14 points.

The Hounds started the year with an impressive 7-game winning streak that Gouard credits to their tough schedule in the first semester.

“Well, we made a tough schedule for as reason, to prepare ourselves for the GLVC league play,” Gouard said. “I think a hard schedule has made us tougher this second semester. Our guys [did] a good job of not hanging their head when the chips were down. We came together especially after second semester. We went back and reevaluated the entirety of the team, as coaches,  and found the things we were not doing so great in and fixed those things to get to where we are today.”

Winter break practices gave the team time alone together to work on their skills as well as their team compatibility, according to Davidson.

“I think really after winter break, we had a lot of time together,” Davidson said “We had a lot of practices, and I feel like we really bonded over winter break. I feel like that time really helped us come together as a team.”

Gouard affirmed that the team is already looking forward to this week’s games to put the Hounds back on the hunt for the conference title coming up in a few weeks.

“Our goal is post-season at this point,but you know our primary goal is winning GLVC,” he said. “We still have a chance, it’s going to be a long shot. There are some things happening we need to take care of on our end, but it’s right there. Outside of that winning the conference title and then making use of our determination and being national champs [is] always our goal, that won’t change.”

The men will be at home for their next four games, the first being on Feb 9.  Tipoff will be at 7:45 p.m. in Nicoson Hall.

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