Men’s basketball looks to finish strong in MSC playBy ANDY RUSSELL
Now that the holidays are over and students and staff alike are getting back in the swing of things, the GC basketball team is doing the same: from work-outs, to practice and games the team has started the New Year off on a solid note. Well, somewhat.
They started off January with an undefeated record of 15-0 and had their first game of the year against Shorter University. The game was a close one, with many momentum swings and lead changes. However, in the end, GC was able to prevail with a 79-77 victory. They didn’t play well in the second half but they were able to make a good 14-7 run late in the game to seal the victory. Vic Moses led GC with 13 points.
As good as the season had been so far, it seemed as if things were heading in the opposite direction for a week. GC took their talents up against one of the toughest teams in the country, Life University. Life had beaten GC the past three meetings and they suffered a similar fate this time, a 96-103 loss. The game featured a lot of hard fouls, evident by the foul shooting: GC went 37-of-53 from the line and Life went 39-of-45. Life had three players with 20+ points and GC was led by Maurice Pearson with 18 points. After a tough loss on the road many thought the Tigers would bounce back with a ferocious spirit, but it wasn’t to be had on the road against Shawnee State, a newcomer in the MSC. The Tigers lost this game on the boards, getting outrebounded 37-27. Vic Moses led all scorers with 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting.
After two tough road losses, the Tigers needed to get home and get a good conference victory and they did just that. The Tigers have reeled off six straight wins after a brief two-game skid. The victories are as follows: University of the Cumberlands, Lindsey Wilson, University of Rio Grande (on the road), West Virginia Tech (on the road), St. Catharine College and Campbellsville University. The Tigers have seven games left in conference and they are currently sitting at 21-2 with a 10-1 conference record. They will play at Pikeville College today at 8 p.m. and will head up the road to UVA-Wise after that. They will return home on February 17 against University of the Cumberlands.
GC women’s basketball down, but don’t count them outBy ANDY RUSSELL
The GC women’s basketball team has been on a downhill slide this season, losing nine of their last 10 games and sitting at an overall record of 7-15 with a 3-8 record in the Mid South Conference.
They have had many rough games this season. However, many of them have been very close. They recently dropped a five-point game in overtime to West Virginia Institute of Technology, a five-point game to Rio Grande, a seven-point game to Lindsey Wilson, a six-point game to the University of the Cumberlands, a one-point game to Shawnee State and an eight-point game to Westmont College. If a ball would have bounced off the rim differently or a call gone another way these games could have just as easily been wins.
However, these strong ladies aren’t offering up any excuses. Most of these losses have been due to poor shooting and a lack of effort on the defensive end. GC gave up 27 points to Whitney Ballinger of Campbellsville, 22 points to Shyla Jones of West Virginia Institute of Technology, 28 points to Leah Kendro of Rio Grande and 26 points to Ashley Rainey of Lindsey Wilson.
Key shooters on teams have beaten them at key moments during the games which has given GC several tough losses. These ladies are resilient and have shown good poise at times throughout the season and still have a chance to send Susan Johnson out on a winning note.
They have seven games left in conference play and a chance to make a splash in the MSC Tournament and, pending the results of the rest of the season, a shot at the National Tournament. They are going to need to shake their road woes however, if they want to get a shot.
They have yet to win a game on the road, 0-8, with half of those losses being by double digits. Four of their remaining seven games are on the road and they are going to need some wins.
Even though Coach Johnson is set to retire at season’s end, she isn’t letting off the gas anytime soon. These ladies are going to get pushed to season’s end and will surely respond to the pressure of the moment. Hopefully they can get it together to send out the seniors and Coach Johnson on top. Not only that, but they also want to usher in coach-in-waiting Andrea McCloskey on a positive note as well. I’m sure that when push comes to shove the ladies will respond and bring some great performances to the table.