The Season Thus Far

Checking in on the basketball teams. Story by Jordan Williams, Sports Editor

With basketball season coming into full swing, the Reddies have taken to the hardwood, and with a new season comes a fresh start. Men and women’s teams played an exhibition game at their home court, but since then have hit the road on their way to a never ending stretch of early season away games. 

Starting off just a bit sluggish the men’s basketball team is off to a 2-2 start to the season. Their first game against Wichita State University was nothing short of a blow out with the final score being Wichita State 90 – Henderson State 53. The killing didn’t just take place in the overall score, but on the boards as well. Wichita nearly doubled the rebounding totals grabbing 47 total rebound compared to HSU’s 26. 

At the the Northern Sun Showdown Showcase in Lancaster, Texas HSU came out with an even split winning after the first game against Minnesota State University Moorhead 93 – 80. Then, the Reddies took a loss to Minot State University 78-50. 

We took on the Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, only to be served another loss with the final score being 77-63. Northwestern Oklahoma was locked in converting on 48.3% of the field goal attempt (28-58) and 33.3 % of their 3 point attempts (8-24) compared to our lackluster field goal percentage of 37.3% (19-51) and our attempt to convert from behind the arc, then attempting only 13 3 point field goals while only making 3. 

Our second win came against Southwestern Oklahoma State University in a closely fought game that saw the final score 76 -73 with late free throws from Josh Jones and Chris Parker putting the game out of reach and put a notch in the win column for the Reddies. 

The Reddies are currently ranked 7th in GAC standings but aren’t standing out in any major statistics. We rank 5th in opposing 3 point percentage with .302% but are second to last in 3 point percentage with .263%. 

We are currently 3rd in blocked shots averaging 3.7 in our first four contests, but when looking at Southern Nazarene who ranks first in the GAC standing for blocks with 7.5, it doesn’t really seems like that great of a feat. Though the season might be off to a slow start, there is still time to turn it around. What our team lacks in size we make up for with quick guards and versatility in our frontcourt, with players such as Brad Nairn able to play as both a wing and forward. 

We have the ability to play great defense and get easy points in transition from doing so, we just haven’t displayed the effort needed to do so as of late. All in all, if we can pick up our defensive rebounding and keep opposing players off the offensive boards we can still muster up a good season. 

The women’s team had a bit of a low start, as well as only one win in their first four contests. That being said, they have played some competitive games as they have yet to lose any games this season by a double-digit deficit. 

Starting off the season in the Southwest Baptist Showcase we split the two games losing our first to Southwest Baptist University 82-73 but bouncing back and beating Northwest Missouri State University 75 – 63, holding Northwest Missouri to a lousy 40.7% field goal percentage in the 12 point win. Our next game against Northwestern Oklahoma State was a bitter loss, as a clutch late free throw from Northwestern and a missed last second shot attempt from Torrie Thompson saw the clock wind down with the final score 72 -71. 

We saw yet another game slip away against Southwestern Oklahoma State University unable to recover from a 3rd quarter in which Southwestern Oklahoma scored 26 points while we scored 13, the final score was 80-72. 

Though they may be off to a slow start, the women’s team has a chance to play amazing ball through the rest of the season. It was evident in the close victory at the exhibition match how much this team loved to move the ball around to find the open shooter or make the extra pass on what is already good look for an even better look. 

We defend well as a team, but our man-to-man defense could use a little tweaking. Quicker players are taking advantage of our ability to guard inside and getting free throws; while doing so as we have allowed an average of 22 opposing free throws per game in our first 4 games alone. 

Our perimeter defense is solid right now and if it can continue at the same pace it would be a huge luxury for our team, as there is no better way to keep an opposing team out of game than stifling their ability to make 3 point field goals. The only thing that should truly worry anyone right now is sophomore guard Pink Jones. 

While she is averaging 25 minutes a game while leading the team in scoring with 14 points a game and playing some very efficient basketball, she has yet to attempt a 3 point field goal in the first four games. This is a glaring mark as she may be making up for this lack of 3 point scoring with her ability to get through the free throw line. 

This season, it’s imperative that she starts at least attempting 3 point field goals to add some much needed fire power to the offense down the stretch of games.