After losing two big games to Hardin-Simmons and McMurry University, the men’s basketball dropped its conference standings to 13-6. This puts them tied for the second seed along with the HSU Cowboys. McMurry is currently holding the first place spot for the West Division.
The team knows it needs to concentrate on the next game and not dwell on losses.
Head Coach Ken DeWeese said, “Our most urgent goal during the season is to win the next game.”
In order for this to happen, they have to address and fix what went wrong in some of the previous games.
“As a team we are working to improve everything we do. We’re working on our shots and trying to do all the little things right,” senior business information systems major and forward Colby Waller said. “We are going to be working hard on our defense because defense is what will win games for us.”
Sophomore business administration major and forward Robert Moore agrees.
“Team communication and composure were the issues addressed right after the game (against McMurry). We can’t go down 13 at the half and expect to win the game every time. We know that and we will fix that,” he said.
Each team in the conference is playing with more drive and passion than before. This makes it even harder to keep a high winning record.
“The lack of recovery time in between games is tough when you are playing good teams every night. The end of the season is very much a grind,” Moore said.
With the American Southwest Conference title in sight, the team has high goals.
“For the rest of the season, we plan on winning the conference tournament, then approaching the NCAA Tournament to be the Division Three Champions,” junior exercise sports science major and guard Marlon Miller said.
With the top four teams in the West Division being within two games of each other, all have a good chance of making it the whole way.
“We try not to look too far ahead and try and prepare the best way possible for the next game itself,” Waller said. “Of course, we want to be in the NCAA Tournament, but we have more obstacles that we need to come across before we can get there.”
On Feb. 17, the Cru defeated Schreiner University in Kerrville. After the half, UMHB pushed the lead to 13 points in the first three minutes. The team led by as many as 22 points before an 80-67 victory.
The last regular season game was Feb. 19. The Cru held off Texas Lutheran with a final score of 71-64. This win clinched the team as the number two seed in the West Division for the ASC.
The Cru will have a 5 p.m. tipoff in the first round game of the ASC Championship Tournament Feb. 26 in Richardson. Their opponent will be announced Monday night after the results of the Mississippi College-Louisiana College game. UMHB will face the number three seed from the East Division.
The team is the defending ASC Champion and has won two of the last three league titles.