Men's Basketball Home
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In their second consecutive road contest to begin the season, the young Southwestern men’s basketball team traveled to play the North Central Missouri Pirates, taking steps toward consistency, yet coming up on the short end of a 60-56 final. Southwestern weathered an early 9-3 deficit and narrowed the gap on big plays by Mataika Koyamainavure (pictured) in the post and Elliott Hamdeed from the arc.
Defensively, Koyamainavure was strong on the boards, and Larry Mason helped control the pace for the Spartan’s offense, keeping the game where they wanted it despite trailing at half, 26-22. In the second half, the game went back and forth and saw the Spartans tie the score multiple times thanks to key baskets by Mason and a hustle rebound and putback from Tanner Kellogg.
With many fresh faces, Southwestern faced Graceland on the road in its season opener, dropping the contest 68-63. The Spartans controlled the first half, using inside play from Mataika Koyamainavure and early outside connections from Jared Theis to build a 36-27 halftime lead. An early three-point goal from Matt Orchard got the Spartans to a double-digit lead, but the Yellow Jackets kept jabbing away at the lead, and Southwestern showed inexperience with some key turnovers, failed block-outs, and defensive lapses.
Sophomore Larry Mason tried to keep the Spartans in front with some key hustle plays and defensive boards, but with three minutes to play Graceland took the lead. A turnover on the next possession for Southwestern led to a transition basket for the Yellow Jackets and put Southwestern into hurry mode. The Spartans could not dig into the late advantage and had to settle for the disappointing defeat.
Southwestern next plays on the road Saturday at North Central Missouri. The tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Name: Tanner Kellogg #34
Strengths on Basketball Court: Rebounding and shooting
Favorite Basketball Memory: Setting my school's rebounding record for a single season.
Basketball Idol: Kobe Bryant
Why Southwestern: Coach Holmes gave me the opportunity to do what I love to do which is basketball.
Name: Dustin Lyden #24
From: Mount Ayr
Strengths on Basketball Court: Recognizing what is happening on the court and adjusting to it, and then overall defense
Basketball Idol: Kevin Durant
Why Southwestern: Coach Holmes presented me with the opportunity to play at Southwestern for him, and there was no way that I was turning down an opportunity to play basketball again.
Name: Xaavier Ortiz #31
From: Puerto Rico
Strengths on Basketball Court: Physical condition to run the court and good vision on the court, ball handling.
Favorite Basketball Memory: My high school team was down by two points with five seconds left. I made a three-point shot and layup to win the championship game. I got the MVP award.
Basketball Idol: Kobe Bryant
Why Southwestern: It gave me the opportunity to play basketball and study what I want.
The Southwestern men’s basketball team announced today it would hold its annual media day on Wednesday, October 9, at 3 p.m. in the Student Center gymnasium. The media will speak with players and coaches about the upcoming campaign for the Spartans, as well as attend practice following photos and interviews. Southwestern welcomes nine new players on the roster this season.