By Clinton Dick
With their Thursday night loss to the University of Saint Mary, the men’s basketball team extended their road losing streak to seven straight. Southwestern struggled to handle the Spires in Leavenworth, losing 78-64. The men haven’t won an away game since mid November.
The win helps Saint Mary keep up with Tabor College for first place atop the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Both teams have a 7-2 conference record, Saint Mary taking the second spot with a 14-7 overall record.
The Builders fall to 3-6 in the KCAC and 11-7 overall with the loss and are in the bottom half of the standings.
“I think we could have done some things to make the game more interesting,” said Matt O’Brien, head men’s basketball coach. “We didn’t make smart plays and we just need to believe in each other a little bit more.”
Brandon Coleman, senior guard, was the catalyst for the Spires, lighting up the scoreboard with 36 total points, 23 coming in the first half.
Chris Nelson, junior guard, led the Builders in scoring with 17 points. The conference’s leading rebounder was held in check on the boards throughout the game.
“He usually just owns on the glass for us,” said O’Brien. “Tonight he only had three rebounds.”
The Spires led 41-24 at the half and kept a significant lead for the rest of the game. The lead would shrink to 10 with 4:16 left in regulation, but that would be as close as the Builders got.
Southwestern returns home Saturday to face off against the Sterling Warriors. The men lost their first matchup in Sterling Dec. 2 71-53.
“They did a good job of pressuring us the first time we played them,” said O’Brien. “I’m looking for them to try to push the tempo on us Saturday.”
The tip-off is at 7 p.m. in Stewart Field House.
Clinton Dick is a sophomore majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.