By: Lucas Packer
In basketball, your team leadership more often than not has to come from the upperclassmen. When that doesn't happen, you will also more often than not finish on the losing end of things. Such was the case for the IU South Bend men's basketball team as they traveled yesterday to Berrien Springs for a matchup against the Cardinals of Andrews University and lost by a final score of 54-42. It was the second meeting of the year between the two teams, with the Titans managing to hold on for a 60-56 win in the first meeting, but it was a different story in this contest.
The first half was a complete disaster for IU South Bend. The Titans managed to score only 13 points on 6/24 shooting from the field. Worse, of the 24 shots attempted, 11 attempts were of the three-point variety and only 1 of those was a make. IU South Bend also failed to get to the free-throw line a single time the entire half. Some may argue that that is a sign that the referees called a bad game, but when you add those zero free-throw attempts to the 11 three-point attempts in 24 shots you realize that it is more likely a symptom of a team playing complacently rather than attacking the basket. The Cardinals didn't shoot splendidly, knocking down 39% from the field themselves, but when coupled with the ugly start of the Titans it was enough for them to go into the locker room with a 27-13 lead.
The second half wasn't much better for IU South Bend, despite bringing a bit more effort to the table for the final stanza. The Titans raised their field goal percentage to the still less-than-respectable level of 35% but the Cardinals maintained their shooting, clocking in at 38% in the second half, nearly identical to the first. The two basically went tit-for-tat the second half, with IU South Bend outscoring the home squad by two, 29-27, which would be great if they hadn't started with a fourteen-point deficit. Ultimately, the hole was too deep and the Titans just couldn't climb out of it.
As previously stated, team leadership has to come from the upperclassman. Unfortunately in this one, veteran starters Alanzo Bass, Steven Heatherly, and Chris Beam combined to go 4/31 from the field for an unbelievable 13% as a trio. As a team the Titans managed to shoot just 30% from the floor, including a dismal 3/22 from behind the arc, good for just 14%. The Titans also turned the ball over 16 times against only 10 team assists. The lone bright spot for IU South Bend was the play of sophomore Jon Trawick. After not playing in the first half, Trawick scored 13 points in 13 minutes in the second, doing so on 5/6 shooting which included a three-pointer. The Cardinals shot 38% as a team, not great but they were consistent, and they managed to knock down 5/15 three-point attempts, with four of those coming in the decisive first half. Andrews was led by Tyler Woolridge, who played an impressive all-around game, tallying 11 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. They also got big contributions from Jerome Murray with 16 points and 7 rebounds and Matthew Little, who finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds of his own.
The loss drops IU South Bend to 6-4 (4-3 CCAC) on the year. After a fast start they have now lost two in a row for the first time this season. The Titans are next in action on Tuesday, December 4th against the Bethel Pilots. The game is a home contest for the Titans, with a scheduled tip-off of 7:30pm in the SAC. For those unable to attend, the game will also be broadcast LIVE at www.iusbtitans.com.