ABOVE: (File photo)
By Daegiona Wilson
Rallying against the No. 7 ranked team in the country was not easy for the Moundbuilders as they fall to the energetic Ottawa Braves 100-77 Saturday evening.
As the Braves were coming off a two game losing streak against McPherson College and Oklahoma Wesleyan, Southwestern was looking to clinch its ninth conference win out of the last ten.
Moundbuilder, Ahmad Pratt, junior forward, connected for the first basket of the game, but it soon fired up the Braves as they took a 24-16 lead before forcing the first team timeout.
The Braves were electric on both sides of the ball, causing Southwestern to commit turnovers. Making it difficult for the Builders to compete with the Braves.
The Braves continued to keep the Builders unbalanced, as they stayed consistent throughout the entire first half, and limited the amount of rebounds the Builders were able to grasp, as they out rebounded the Builders 25-14.
The Braves soon went into halftime with a 51-32 lead over the Builders.
Matt O’Brien, head men’s basketball coach, said, “When you play the No. 7 team in the country, it’s hard to bounce back when you get down like that in the first half.”
Going into the second half of the contest, turnovers continued to be a problem for the Builders.
Jarehn White, senior guard, said, “We weren’t on balanced and they pushed us around.”
The Braves had their fair share of turnovers as well, as they had just five less than the Moundbuilders.
The Moundbuilders managed to cut it within 13, with 8:12 to go in the second half, but that was the closet they would get, as the Braves stretched the lead to as high as 23.
Ryan Haskins, senior guard, put up a phenomenal performance for the Braves offensively, ending the night with 30 points.
Last game between the two teams, it was Darryl Bowie, senior guard, who did the damage for the braves, scoring 30.
Coach O’Brien, said, Haskins, “We know he is a good player, he made them, and we weren’t able to stop him when he got going.”
For the Builders, Noah Webster, junior guard, had a game high of 16 points in just 23 minutes, with 6-6 for the free throw line, and 5-11 from the field.
Three other builders seen doubled figures, and Lorenzo Martinez, senior forward, ended with a game high of nine rebounds.
Adding with Haskins, three other braves seen double figures. Jaquan Daniels, junior forward, added eight boards.
The Braves managed to snap the Builders four game conference winning streak, and clinch their own win in the last three.
The Builders will head to Kansas City on Jan. 20 to take on the Avila Eagles, as they look to rebuild in the winning column.
The last time these two met, the Eagles beat the Builders 90-84, in a physical battle.
The Eagles are coming off a 78-53 loss against conference foe, Friends Falcons.
Both teams will be looking for redemption, as they both took double figure losses.
For the Builders, “We’ve bounced back all year. We take a lot of pride on bouncing back. We got to regroup, and keep positive energy going into the game Monday.” said O’Brien.
Tipoff is at 2 p.m. in Mabee Fieldhouse.
Tune into the game by visiting, https://portal.stretchinternet.com/sckans/