While most students have a break at the end of November for Thanksgiving, there are those who continue to work hard despite campus closures. Both the men and women’s basketball teams played games throughout the week-long break, playing at home and traveling to other states.
As students and faculty left campus Nov. 17, the men’s team prepared for their home game against Rice University. Though they lost to the Owls 65-87, the Demons continued on for their Nov. 21 game against University of Louisiana Monroe, winning 76-61.
After a short break Thanksgiving day, the men visited Fort Collins, Colorado and lost to Colorado State 60-72, making their overall game record 1-5.
Head Coach Mike McConathy commented on the loss against Colorado State stating there is always room for improvement and to take away lessons from all games, especially losses.
“We did fight hard. We’ve got to get better, cleaner shots, and also, hold on to rebounds and loose balls better,” he said. “We had our hands on it so many times and the more aggressive team came away with possession.”
The women also faced opponents over the break, though they had a few more days of preparation.
Junior forward Libba Gilliam scored 14 points against LSUA. She contributed their success to several factors including the cohesiveness of the team.
“I think we read our offense well,” she said. “We got inside a lot, and Leah [Barnes] was able to hit me outside and [I was able to] make the shots.”
“We created a lot of turnovers and got some fast-break points,” Head Coach Jordan Dupuy said.
He also explained that they scheduled games purposely so they were not near the holiday.
“We [had] a six day layoff in between games so we could actually give the girls a chance to get home during Thanksgiving, which is something that in all my years of coaching we’ve never been able to do,” he said.
With the win over LSUA, Dupuy continues to look for improvement from the team, just as McConathy spoke about with the men’s team.
“I think we have to be real with ourselves,” the second-year head coach said. “We were good in a lot of areas, and we have to get better in some other areas [to] compete with teams in our conference and teams like Southern Mississippi.”
The men’s team will face Lyon College Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Prather Coliseum, and the Lady Demons will travel to ULM Dec. 3 for their next game.