Monday, October 20, 2014

Braves can't stop Southwestern

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 1/11/2013

The Ottawa University men’s basketball team has yet to put it together for long stretches of time. The Braves have shown flashes of playing at a level of being one of the top teams in the nation.

Other times, Ottawa has dipped to levels that will not win many games. Ottawa went through a myriad of stages Thursday in Wilson Field House against Southwestern College.

The Ottawa University men’s basketball team has yet to put it together for long stretches of time. The Braves have shown flashes of playing at a level of being one of the top teams in the nation.

Other times, Ottawa has dipped to levels that will not win many games. Ottawa went through a myriad of stages Thursday in Wilson Field House against Southwestern College.

The inconsistency led to an uneven performance and in the end a 96-92 overtime loss to the Moundbuilders.

“It is frustrating,” Ottawa coach Andy Carrier said. “This one stings a little bit. We will get everybody’s best shot. It is hard lessons to learn. It is gut-check time for us right now.”

Especially with conference-leading Saint Mary, which has won 10 of its past 11 games, invading Wilson Field House 5 p.m. today.

Ottawa (7-10, 4-3) struggled in a lot of areas, but the biggest was defense. Southwestern shot 47 percent from the field and got easy looks.

“We could not get stops,” Carrier said. “They made tough shots too. The number of breakdowns on defense and number of easy shots decided the ballgame.”

The game was topsy-turvy from the start with nine ties and 10 lead changes. Southwestern held the upperhand most of the game with its largest lead of 11 at the 15-minute mark of the second half. Ottawa’s only lead was by one early in the second half.

“These guys know how to guard,” Carrier said. “They are not bringing it every night. It is not just one guy. It is truly a team defense. You have to have five guys out there talking, on the same page and in the right spots.

“We went through a lot of people trying to find the right five to get it done. We never found five guys to guard these guys.”

Southwestern had six players in double figures.

“They have some good young talent,” Carrier said. “They shot the ball well. When we guard, have energy and rebound the basketball, we get easy baskets. When the ball does not move, we get average pretty fast.

“We got the fate we deserved.”

Ottawa went through lulls offensively, despite scoring 92 points and shooting 49 percent from the field.

“We don’t have that one guy we can throw it to and get a basket when we need it consistently,” Carrier said. “We put it in four or five guys’ different hands in the overtime, and nobody can step up and make a shot when we needed to.”

Carrier said Ottawa can turn into a consistent team, but needs get down and dirty.

“We still want to get it easy and take some shortcuts,” he said. “There is no shortcuts winning a game in this conference. We need the guys to do the things that require more energy than skill.

“That is helping on defense, blocking out and getting on the floor. That is where we have to get better.”

Julian Rose paced Ottawa with 21 points. Adam Hasty fired in 19 and had five assists. Corey Smith had 15 points and Kameron Lindsay, 13.

Southwestern (96) — Morales 15, Johnson 20, Tyler 11, Shirley 13, Tisdale 12, Vasquez 3, Bloomquist 2, Clark 20.

Ottawa (92) — Feighny 7, Smith 15, Brown 2, Lindsay 13, Dippel 9, Hasty 19, Rose 21, Regier 4, Lundry 2.

comments powered by Disqus