Griffons beat SBU, move on in MIAA tournament

!Home-Featured

After the Griffons win and repeat of February 27 game against Southern Baptist University, They will continue in the MIAA conference tournament.

“Ever since we beat them the last game we knew we were battling,” Justin Taylor said, “We just kind of prepared for them because we knew they were going to come back hard.”

Western’s win didn’t come easy, even though the Griffons set a momentum reminiscent of the February 27 game.

This rhythm kept them in the lead with at least ten points later in the first period.

Marcus Rhodes hammers the ball around SBU player Stephen Cotten for a solid lay-up. Photo | Dave Hon

In the second period though, after a demoralizing slam dunk by Kurtis Koenig, it seemed that the SBU Bearcats had broken Western’s spirit.

As more fouls were being called on the Western and four on both Marcus Rhodes and Dominique Thuston, SBU was closing the point gap putting pressure on the Griffons.

“I just had it in my mind, that if [Koenig] was going to score then he was going to have to jump over me,” Thuston said.

Even though SBU had small victories in the second period, and came within several points of closing Western’s lead, the Griffons held strong with a 61% floor shooting average for the game compared to SBU’s 41.7%

“They were all kind of rhythm shots,” Marcus Rhodes said.

Even though Western has beaten SBU previously, the pressure of this game was still present in both players and Smith.

“Ever since we beat them the last game we knew we were battling,” Justin Taylor said, “We just kind of prepared for them because we knew they were going to come back hard.”

Rhodes agrees and felt the pressure also.

“Man that’s all I’ve been thinking about all week,” said Marcus Rhodes

With this win, the Griffon’s chances of competing in the NCAA tournament have improved. Still, the national committee could overlook Western. Head coach Tom Smith expressed disappointment if that were the case.

“I’ll find a bottle of wine as quick as I can,” said head coach Tom Smith, “You think I’m kidding?”

Tomorrow the Griffons will play Washburn, the eight seed team, at 6:00 PM.

Comments are closed.