December 5, 2005|
EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. -- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men's basketball team finds itself at .500 on the early season as it gets set to face Robert Morris tomorrow night.
The Cougars battle the Eagles at 7 p.m. at the Vadalabene Center before heading on the road for Great Lakes Valley Conference contests with Rockhurst and Drury this weekend.
"All the teams we are going to play are good teams," said SIUE men's basketball coach Marty Simmons. "So obviously, there is concern there, but our concern is with us, with our decision making, our preparation to get ready to play, and our willingness to get ready to play and compete for 40 minutes."
The Cougars, 2-2 overall and 0-1 in GLVC, travel to Kansas City Thursday to face the Hawks, 4-5 overall and 0-2 in the league, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, SIUE has a match at Drury, 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference, set for 2 p.m.
"In this league with the level of competition between the teams, a lot of times it is the team that executes the best that wins the game," said Simmons.
"We have shown spurts of being a good basketball team, but we have yet to put 40 minutes together where we are locked in. That is our challenge."
SIUE dropped two straight after a tough loss to Quincy 54-49 last Saturday night at the Vadalabene Center. The Cougars held a 10-point lead at halftime, but only made five field goals in the second half falling to the Hawks.
"I thought we did a lot of good things defensively throughout the entire game, said Simmons. "Offensively, at times we got pretty good looks, but we didn't finish around the basket as well as we would have like."
Sophomore Doug Taylor (McClure) notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Taylor ranks first on the team with 7.3 rebounds per game.
"Doug struggled down (in the loss) at Southwest Baptist," said Simmons. "I really thought he came back and practiced well last week. I think his play was a direct reflection of how he practiced. He gave us a big boost."
Sophomore J.B. Jones (Belleville) leads the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game. Jones also is first with 5.5 assists per contest.
The Cougars rank first in the GLVC in scoring defense, giving up an average of 59 points a game.