By Jacob Jimmerson
The Builders men’s basketball team held the Bethel Threshers at arm’s length the whole game to win an 83-73 contest. The Builders stormed out in the first seven minutes of the second half to gain an 18 point advantage and never looked back.
Chris Waller, junior guard, led the team with 23 points and seven rebounds. Waller said, “I just like to go out there and be aggressive and attack the rim when my teammates want me to, I was able to go out there and do that tonight.”
Luke Nespor, sophomore center, had a surprisingly big night with 12 points, five rebounds and a blocked shot. Nespor said, “I played like I always do, but my man left me to go help on the backside post and it left me open and I was able to finish.”
After a couple of losses in a row the Builders have responded with a three game win streak. Nespor said, “We just got together and said that we needed to be more together and get back on track. I thought that we have done a better job of playing team ball, but we need to continue to get better.”
Waller agreed that they need to improve. He said, “We can get so much better. We have so many great pieces and if we put it all together and build teamwork, we can be great.”
Defense has been a key for the Builders this year. Nespor said, “Coach gives us a great game plan every week and we just have to follow it and really buy in on defense.”
Head Coach Matt O’Brien has noticed the defense. He said, “Coaches get more credit than they deserve and will get the blame a lot of the time as well. But, the bottom line is these guys come out ready to play defense and they do a great job of it.”
Waller got the task of guarding star Threshers player Adam Arciniega, who was averaging 24 points a game. When Waller was on him he did not score once, despite a seven inch height disadvantage. Waller said, “I didn’t know I would be matching up with him until the game started. I thought I did a good job of disrupting him when I did guard him and not allowing anything easy.”
O’Brien knew that he would put Waller on Arciniega. He said, “We knew that we wanted to test this matchup, because of the intensity that Chris brings to the court. He got out there and he played hard, he brings a great defensive intensity to the court.”
O’Brien sees room for improvement moving forward to the Kansas Wesleyan game next week. He said, “We need to get better at some post offense, right now we lack having some good post moves and that could hurt us. Also, we just need to continue to come together and play as a team and keep our composure as well.”
The Builders are now 14-4 on the season and 5-3 in KCAC play. They will play the Coyotes Wednesday, Jan. 21 at Stewart Field House.
Jacob Jimmerson is a sophomore majoring in Communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org