HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Eagles win weekend games, prepare for another round

Bradie Gray

Both the men and women’s basketball teams snagged victories at home Saturday.

The men began their regular season campaign with an impressive 28 point, 82-54 win over Davis & Elkins College.

The Eagles kept the lead throughout the game, starting off with a 17-3 lead in the first 6 minutes of the game.

By halftime, the Eagles were up 43-27.

In the second half, they bumped their lead up, creating a 28 point gap twice. One resulting in the final score of 82-54.

The Eagles outshot the Senators 48.3 percent to 38.9 percent and shot 81.0 percent from the line (17-21).

The two standouts from game one were senior guard Gavin Schumann, who led with 22 points, and senior guard TeNale Roland, who sunk six 3-pointers throughout the game.

Schumann was happy with his performance, but said he didn’t exactly expect it.

“I didn’t come into the game thinking like that, I just came in thinking defense creates offense, so I was thinking about defense,” Schumann said.

He said that the Dayton exhibition did its job to prepare him and the team for the game and the season.

“It prepared us by showing us where we were at and what we had to fix for this game today, which was mainly stuff on defense and tweaking a little bit of things,” Schumann said. “We definitely improved on positioning. That was one of the things we worked on in practice all week.”

Head Coach Rodney Watson said he was impressed with Schumann

“I’m sure hoping for more games like that from Gavin. We’ve got to have a player like that taking control and he shows that he can do that,” Watson said. “He covers a lot of ground on one dribble. He made simple plays that we really liked (and) obviously scored a lot, but it wasn’t just that he was always scoring. He was making simple plays for the other guys, too, and that’s a sign of a good player.”

Roland’s success in the game was simply the product of practice, he said.

If the students only knew how much (Roland) worked on his game,” Watson said. “He’s in here 7 in the morning almost every morning shooting jump-shots. Those same shots you saw in the game, he has been practicing those all the time before anyone starts school, so it’s good to see that hard work pay off.”

Roland said there are a lot of good shooters on the team.

“We focus a lot on shooting in practice to give us confidence with the ball,” he said.

Roland said the whole team helped him make the shots by getting the ball to him when he was open.

He said Saturday’s game says a lot about upcoming games.

“It says we’re the team and we’re here to play,” Roland said. “It cant be just one game, we have to play like this every game and get some wins.”

The women’s team topped off a Saturday of basketball with an 84-41 victory over their Midwest Region “foe” Ohio Valley University.

It was the team’s first win of the regular season, which came less than 24 hours after the Eagles’s season-opening loss to Malone University.

The Eagles held a 15-0 run for the first six minutes of the game and had a solid 52-23 lead by halftime.

They outscored the Fighting Scots 37-11 in the final 13 minutes with help from freshman guard/forward Kaydie Grooms, who scored 15 of her 19 points in the opening half.

“We knew we had that height advantage,” Grooms said. “So we knew they were playing ones and I knew that you had to have the mind set that if you’re on the wings, you have to make the three. I guess I don’t always expect to make them. But we knew they were playing zone, so we expected to get some three-pointers on the outside.”

Grooms credited the win to teamwork.

“I think that in the zone, we all feed off of each other,” she said. “If it collapses on one side, we skip it or we get it to the high post and they kick it out. You don’t have an open shot unless you have everybody working together.”

The win was a quick turnaround from Friday’s Malone loss.

“I think we bounced back really well, if we have a loss, we don’t hang our heads, we say ‘OK, let’s get it tomorrow,’” Grooms said. “We don’t dwell on the past. We just keep on taking it one day at a time and I think that’s really good to do.”

Women’s Head Coach Rick Stein agreed that the team handles quick turnarounds well.

“We haven’t handled the front end of them very well so far, but we’re handling the back end of them pretty well,” he said.

Stein said many of the tournaments the team will participate in will be back to back.

“That’s what you run into … The schedule was kind of set up that way … and we got four early region opponents in here for that reason. I think it’s going to help us down the road. But to stack up 16 or 17 hours and come out the second day and play better basketball I think shows a lot about our team.”

Stein said the team defended well during Saturday’s game after giving up 75 points the night before.

“When you give up 75 points, that’s when you’re going to have a hard time winning and that’s anywhere, whether it’s home or away. We had to defend better,” he said. “Obviously, we gave up a lower number tonight and the competition was a little different, but at the same time, even when you’re pulling away from a team, sometimes you get sloppy and sometimes you stop defending and I don’t really think we did that today. I thought we were guarding from start to finish.”

The men’s and women’s teams are scheduled to play at home again Saturday – the women against Ashland University at 1 p.m., and the men against Kentucky State University at 3:15 p.m.