Last week the Griffons suffered two over twenty-point losses to Pitt State and Missouri Southern on the road but return home, where they have a 6-5 record, to face the Lindenwood Lions on Thursday and the Lincoln Blue Tigers on Saturday.
Head coach Brett Weiberg knows that during a season such as this the team has to keep pushing on.
“When a team has been through the adversity that we’ve been through this year, you have to really continue to dig deep and continue to believe in what you can do as an individual to help the team win,” Weiberg said.
The Lions hold the No. 2 spot in the conference thanks to their star senior Cory Arentsen. Arentsen averages 22 points per game on 49 percent shooting and has reached the 36 and 40 point marks once this season.
Although he has reached a high of 40 points he has also been held to lows of seven points and one point this season, but Weiberg believes that containing their other players will be a major factor in the game.
“Arentsen is going to have the ability to het his,” Weiberg said. “I believe the key is to hold their other players from exceeding what they do on a day in and day out basis.”
The Griffons will counter offensively with a combination of guards Trey Sampson and Aaron Emmanuel who are first and second on the team in points per game with 12.6 and 11.3 respectively.
Saturday, Western is pitted against Lincoln who has also struggled on the road, with just a 2-7 away record.
The Blue Tigers run the majority of their offense through their guards Anthony Virdure and Jaylon Smith who average 21.8 and 18.5 points per game respectively.
The players dominate in field goal attempts as well. Virdure’s 346 and Smith’s 310 heavily out number the Griffon leaders Sampson with 199 and Emmanuel with 175.
The game plan against Lincoln is very similar to the plan for Lindenwood according to Weiberg.
“It’s another one of those situations where they’re going to get some of theirs but we have to stay tough and be able to guard one on one,” Weiberg said.
Western has an opportunity to climb out of the last spot in the MIAA with their upcoming home games. Currently, the Griffons are 4-11 in the conference right behind Southwest Baptist at 4-10 and Northeastern State at 5-10.
They will face Lindenwood Thursday, Feb 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Lincoln on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 5 p.m.