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After taking a first half lead, including 12 points from Darian Polson, against the visiting Southeast CC Storm, 36-28, the Spartans struggled on the defensive end of the court in the second half. Coming out of the locker room the Spartans were outscored 45-27. This left them on the losing end of a 63-73 final score.
Head Coach Addae Houston said, “Not enough effort on the defensive end in the second half cost us the game. We gave up too many second chances points from offensive rebounds. Southeast picked up their intensity on defense in the second half and forced us to turn the ball over which lead to easy transition points.”
The Spartans squeezed in one more road game before the Thanksgiving break on Tuesday, November 26. They traveled to Columbus, NE to play the Central Community College Raiders. The Spartans struggled to get their offense moving in the first half, heading to the locker room at the half down 48-18.
Taking the court in the second half, the Spartans found their groove scoring 34 points. The much improved second half effort was too little to catch the Raider’s large first half lead. The final score was 89-52.
Head Coach Addae Houston said, “We started the game off slow, and did not do a good job of handling Central's pressure. They were able to force turnovers and get easy transition points. They scored 28 of their points off of our turnovers.”
The team was led in scoring by sophomore Morgan Knorr with 31 and contributed six rebounds.
Little changed for the Spartans from the previous week when they traveled to play the eighth ranked Highland Community College on Saturday, November 23. The Scotties early defensive pressure gave them a solid 36-9 lead going into the locker room at the half. The Spartan were able to make some offensive improvements in the second half, scoring 24, but it was far too little too late. The Scotties won the game 83-33.
Head coach Addae Houston said, “Highland’s pressure once again took us out of the game early with consistent trapping from start to finish. Handling pressure is definitely a weakness of ours that we have to get better at as we approach the conference season.”
The Spartan narrowly let their lead from the majority of the game slip away in the final minutes of their contest with the visiting North Central Missouri College Pirates on Wednesday, November 20. A combination of missed free-throws, a series of missed last-minute shots, and the Pirates raining in seven three pointers in the second half, left the Spartans on the losing end of a 55-53 final score.
Head Coach Addae Houston commented, "Once again the first half of the game was good for us. We played solid defense and stuck to the game plan; limit their three-point shooting and contain the post play inside. We led at the half 27-18 without giving up a single three pointer."
"We have to break the streak of not being a second-half team and learn to play for forty minutes mainly on the defensive end. Unfortunately it is the one area that our team has been consistent at, and we will not be able to be the team that I know we are capable of being until we learn how to put teams away when we are ahead."