Jason McCormack, senior guard, looks for a pass during the men’s basketball game against Graceland University Nov. 14. The men lost 80-78. They play Texas Lutheran University tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Cameron Siefkes/photographer

Jason McCormack, senior guard, looks for a pass during the men’s basketball game against Graceland University Nov. 14. The men lost 80-78. They play Texas Lutheran University tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Cameron Siefkes/photographer

The Builders’ next game is in Seguin, Texas against Texas Lutheran University. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Last year Southwestern won in a 110-72 landslide against the Crusaders of Manhattan Christian College. It ended up being one of eight losses that the Crusaders suffered. This year the 2-2 Builders traveled to Manhattan Christian on Tuesday in hopes of finding success in their non-conference schedule. The Crusaders are currently 2-3 overall and are coming off of a 69-38 conference win over Nebraska Christian College. Though it is not a Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference game, the Builders will still have to step up their game to break the .500 mark. “It is a big game for us,” said Matt O’ Brien, head basketball coach. “I coached against them last year, and we will have to execute good to beat them.” The game results were not available for press time.

On Nov. 14 the Builders took on Graceland University at home in one of the most heated games thus far this season. Southwestern gave their strongest effort against the Jackets, but fell short in the final moments 80-78. “It was a good test,” said Chris Collins, freshman forward. “It would have been a really good win to have.”

Graceland led 45-40 at halftime. By the fourth quarter that lead was extended to nine and the chance for a Builder victory looked dim.

Southwestern fought back in the waiting seconds of the game to knot the score up at 78. That would be as close as they came, though, as a Builder foul sent Graceland’s Jake Smith, junior guard, to the free throw line with less than five seconds remaining. Smith hit both free throws and the purple and white could not answer before the clock expired.

Despite the disappointment, O’Brien felt the Builders still performed at a high level. “I feel like our total team effort was good,” said O’ Brien. “We need to work a little harder on understanding the concepts.” Southwestern shot 47.4 percent from the field and went 10-24 from beyond the arch. They also won the turnover battle, turning the ball over 13 times compared to the Jackets 17.

Marcus Batiste, senior forward, had a career day as he led the Builders in both scoring with 20 points, and rebounds with eight. Justin Diggles, senior guard, followed with 17 points and four assists.

Clint Dick is a freshman majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at clinton.dick@sckans.edu.