University basketball takes loss against Abilene Christian

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Maggie Tregre/The Lion's Roar

The university men’s and women’s basketball teams fell to Abilene Christian University in consecutive home games as they each trailed their opponents by six points.

Both teams took on the reigning Southland Conference Tournament champions on Feb. 22, with the women’s team facing off at 1 p.m. Despite four Lady Lions scoring in the double digits, the Wildcats closed out the game 62-68. 

Head Coach Ayla Guzzardo shared that the team would have to tighten up on defense and maintain momentum in order to bounce back.

“Defensively, we’ve got to be able to guard the ball one-on-one,” said Guzzardo. “We shot the ball well and shared the ball well, but we have to do it every quarter. We scored 13 points in the third quarter and 18 points in the fourth, and that third quarter got us.”

Caitlyn Williams, a junior forward who was the player of the game – finishing with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds – agreed that the defense hindered their chances of winning.

“Defense and transitions, especially,” said Williams. “Next game we have to work on defense and finishing in the fourth quarter.”

 

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The men’s basketball team followed at 4 p.m., falling 69-75 to the Wildcats. 

With Abilene Christian in control at halftime, the Lions fought to tie the game at 63 points. The Wildcats regained the lead with less than four minutes left in the game.

Despite the team’s loss, David Kiefer, head coach of men’s basketball, mentioned that the team did not let the score affect their playing.

“I thought our guys really battled and competed for 40 minutes,” shared Kiefer. “I thought our guys being down 15 didn’t get rattled, they just battled the whole game, so I’m proud of their effort.”

Kiefer named a few players that stood out to him from the game.

“I thought our freshman, Nick Caldwell, played really well,” commented Kiefer. “I thought his effort and energy were really good. I thought Ty Brewer played really hard. Brandon Gonzales made some big shots for us. It was good to have him keep the ball going. I thought everybody’s energy and effort was good tonight.”

Junior forward Brandon Gonzales scored 21 points, the highest in his career. 

Gonzales shared his overall impressions of the game.

“I wish the refs let us play a little bit more, but other than that, I’m happy about our team’s effort,” said Gonzales. “Moving forward, I hope we keep showing this effort. What needs improvement is our offense. Sometimes it can be a little rough due to our young players, but they’re really good players. I think defensively, we did really well.”

 

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