Sophomore guard Jimmy King’s career high of 22 points and nine assists was not enough for the University of Indianapolis men’s basketball team to pull out a win against the University of Wisconsin -Parkside Rangers on Feb. 17.
The Rangers took the early lead with two good free throws after a foul from junior forward Roderick Davis. Parkside expanded their lead up to seven points, until the Hounds came back to tie it up at 42 before the halftime break.
At the beginning of the second half the Hounds broke to tie and took the lead with a layup from King. The Rangers did not give up, and the lead bounced back and forth until Parkside took it back for the final time with a 3-pointer. The Hounds could not come back and fell to the Rangers 92-84.
Without leading scorer junior guard Eric Davidson, only five Hounds made it to the basket. Along with King’s 22 points, redshirt junior Ajay Lawton scored 20, sophomore guard Jesse Kempson had 16, freshman guard Tate Hall had 15 and redshirt junior guard Alex Etherington had 11 points.
The team hosted the Lewis University Flyers on Feb. 16. The Hounds gave up the first seven points of the game before Lawton’s layup put the Hounds in the lead. The Hounds maintained this lead for the remainder of the first half, going into the break with a score of 44-34.
The Hounds expanded their lead in the second half up to 14 points. The Flyers could not surpass the Hounds offense, and UIndy won 81-69.
The previous week, the Hounds went 2-0 with wins against the William Jewell College Cardinals and the Rockhurst University Hawks. According to King, the two-game winning streak boosted the confidence that the Greyhounds are feeding off of during the second semester.
“We started really bad, only [a record of] 3-7,” King said. “Then we came back second semester and got on a really good win streak, and we plan on keeping that momentum going.”
Though the Feb. 11 game against the Hawks ended with a Greyhound victory, it came after a battle to overcome a 13 point deficit. Lawton credited the win to an increase in defensive attentiveness during the second half of the game.
“It was a great comeback,” Lawton said. “We started off slow, but during the second half we came out with a lot more intensity, and we got the job done. We definitely need more communication. We’re not much of a talking team, but once we get that down pat, everything else speaks for itself. Coach G [Head Men’s Basketball Coach Stan Gouard] chewed us out a little during timeout, but then we built up our intensity on defense.”
The Hounds finished with five players earning double digit points in the game against the Hawks. Lawton led with 21 points total, six coming from two 3-point shots and five from free-throws, along with three assists and two steals. Hall finished the game with 15 points on 5-6 shooting. Davidson ended up with 14 points.
The Greyhounds’ victory against the Cardinals ended with score of 90-80. The Hounds finished the game with four players scoring in double digits. Kempson led the team in scoring with 18 points, along with two blocks. Etherington ended the game with 13 points and two steals. Hall also scored 13 points over the course of the game. King scored 11 points along with 6 assists, the highest total on the team.
The Hounds started off strong, leading 20-9 after seven minutes of play. However, the Cardinals mounted a small comeback and went into halftime with a 44-39 lead.
Although the Hounds lost a few leads and fell behind in points several times throughout the game, they ultimately were able to hold on and come back with to win after stepping up the defensive pressure in the second half, according to King.
According to Lawton, the Hounds were out for revenge for their defeat against the Hawks in the previous season.
“We knew that they [the Hawks] were a tough team to come out and play against,” Lawton said. “They were a big-time opponent, because last year they beat us. But we know that if we come out and play with intensity that nobody can play with us.”
Gouard commended the tough battle between the Hounds and the Hawks and said the Hawks were not a team he took lightly.
“It feels great anytime you beat a team like Rockhurst,” he said. “They play hard, and they challenge you in a lot of areas. It was hard-fought. We had a slow start, but I like the way we finished.”
Gouard hopes that these two victories will carry over into upcoming games and lead the Hounds into the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament.
“You always build off the momentum of a win,” Gouard said. “We’ve got to learn from the win, of course. There are some things we didn’t do well, and you also learn from the losses, but we’re excited about next week. We have two good teams coming up, and we’re all excited about the next steps for us.”
Gouard said that improvements could be made to the Hounds early play but was happy with the overall effort and result of the team’s performance.
“They [the Hawks] jumped on us pretty early,” Gouard said. “We were down about 12 or 15 points a couple of times, and it was because of our lack of concentration on defense. We were missing shots early, and that’s going to happen, but [we] still have to defend. Early on, I felt like we were more worried about missing shots and not defending. We made some adjustments on defense, though, and things turned around for us.”
The Hounds will play their next game in Rensselaer, Ind., against the St. Joseph’s College Pumas on Feb. 23. The game is set to begin at 8:30 p.m.