By Mallory Graves
They came. They saw. They conquered.
On Thursday night, the men’s basketball team defeated Kansas Wesleyan 95 – 87 in a fierce battle at the Stewart Field House.
Matt O’Brien, head coach, said, “I was excited about how we moved the ball on offense. I thought our team spirit was really good tonight, which enabled us to play well together.”
Andrew Hamm, senior guard, said, “I think we played well as a team on the offensive side. On the defensive side, we made mistakes, but we still managed to compete and finish the game strong. I also loved the atmosphere tonight at the game, and I hope the fans continue to come out and support.”
Hamm racked up a sum of 22 points, which included the first two scores of the game and the highest number of points earned by Southwestern. He made four three-pointers, two free throws and four defensive rebounds.
Ahmad Pratt, junior forward, said, “We came out ready to play. We were well prepared for this game with all of the scouting, reporting and practices we went through. One improvement that I feel could be made is that we need to learn to stay on our opponent’s back even if we are up. We, as a team, need to stop getting so relaxed at the end of the games. It is important to try your best until the last second for a guaranteed victory.”
During the game, Pratt snagged a total of six points. He made three free throws and scored the Builders one card closer to the “cheese.” He also obtained two defensive rebounds, a steal and an assist.
Anthony Hickman’s efforts to keep the game alive did not go unnoticed last night.
“Hickman played very good interior defense and was able to grab a couple of rebounds when we needed it,” said O’Brien.
“Everyone was ready to play tonight, even down to our bench players,” said Pratt. “Hickman played really well and was ready to go when his name was called. That was a big time for us.”
Troy Baker, senior forward, said, “I felt prepared. We have been going over their plays and personnel all week, so we were ready for anything they had. We came out hot and just kept rolling with it.”
Baker scored 12 points in tonight’s game. That includes six free throws, two offensive rebounds and 10 defensive rebounds.
Jarehn White, senior guard, said, “I’m happy that we came together as a team and got the win. K-Dub is a tough opponent so it was a good win to achieve.”
White collected a whopping 15 points that flipped over three of the cheese cards. Baker had two defensive rebounds and five assists.
With only one more home game left for the 2019-2020 season, seniors expressed their memories made here at Southwestern.
“Being a senior isn’t easy because I’m also a huge leader on and off the court,” said Hamm. “I love it because I get to teach younger guys what it takes to be great and see them blossom in this program. Playing this last game in Stewart Field House will hurt because I have made so many memories in there not just with my team, but with other teams as well.
The program is like a brotherhood and I’m going to definitely miss that. But, I will always keep up with the Builders after college.”
Hamm said, “I look forward to my teammates and I coming out with energy ready to play next game. Especially since we are on a four-game hot streak right now.”
On Saturday, the Builders will take on the Bethany Swedes in Lindsborg, Kan. at 7 p.m.