Two conference wins highlight tough Christmas break for men’s basketball

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Brian Bland
Contributing Writer

While the student body and faculty were at home enjoying the Christmas season, your men’s basketball team was extremely busy with numerous games and constant practicing. Although their record of 2-10 over the break seems to tell the entire story, junior captain Drew Assinesi believes that the young team was able to learn a lot about the grind of Christmas-break basketball.

“Christmas basketball is always a difficult time, especially with a team as young as ours.  The SCAC is the most widespread conference in all of Division III, and we have to learn to be ready to play all the time and adjust to any speed bumps that we may run into along the way.  I’m proud of the way our guys played, but there is definitely room for improvement.”

The team kicked off the break with a road trip to San Antonio on Dec. 16 where they battled and were defeated by SCAC members Trinity University and Southwestern University in two closely fought contests. Following these tough defeats, the Crusaders had to quickly bounce back and prepare for a stretch of six home games (the longest they will see all year). They began the six-game stretch on Dec. 29 against Luther College (IA) and Schreiner University but ended up losing both contests.  However, the team was finally able to gain some much-needed momentum on Jan. 6, when they defeated the Hendrix College Warriors 64-56 and were able to record their first SCAC win.

Yet the work was just beginning for the young Crusaders.  After a week of intense practicing and preparation, Colorado College and Rhodes College (TN) proved too much to handle, and the Crusaders had to notch another two losses. Then the team finally turned things around in the final home game of the break, on Jan. 15, against SCAC opponent Millsaps College (MS). Roughly two seconds before the buzzer sounded, transfer Joe Stephens found Tanner Bruffey for the game-winning layup, and the Crusaders were able to record the second SCAC victory in school history.

This past weekend, the team travelled to Georgia and Alabama to face off against SCAC members Oglethorpe University (GA) and Birmingham-Southern College (AL).  After two hard-fought games, the Crusaders came out winless and finished the break 2-10, bringing the overall record to 4-14.

The next game is a big home game against Sewanee (TN), this Friday night at 8 p.m.  Come out and support your Crusaders!

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