ABOVE: Steele Gaton-Chapman, freshman guard, reaches for the goal. Gaston-Chapman had three steals during the game, the most on the team. (Lauren Sieh/Staff photographer)
By Blake Garman
The Southwestern Moundbuilders opened conference play tonight against the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes.
The Builders came into the competition with a 3-2 non-conference record, as the Coyotes were previously 2-2.
Both teams competed in the KWU Classic last weekend, getting a sense of how tonight’s match up might play out.
Throughout the game, it was a battle back and forth each possession. However, it was a late offensive burst and excellent defense in the paint that gave the Builders the upper hand.
Matt O’Brien, head coach, said, “We played hard and our interior defense was excellent.”
The Builders combined for 9 blocks in the paint, Troy Kinser, junior center, accounting for five of those. Troy Baker, senior forward, came up with three.
A major component that kept the Coyotes in the game, was the 23 turnovers that the Builders gave up.
O’Brien said, “We had 23 turnovers, which is just awful. We have to do better holding onto the ball.”
Defensively the Builders had 37 rebounds, which was a standout statistic, being essential late in the game when it came down to the wire.
Kinser said, “I think we rebounded well and played assignment sound.”
Next, the Builders will head to Friends University 8:00 p.m. Nov. 6 at Garvey P.E. Center.
For full game statistics click here.