Ladner earns his 50th win at reign

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Junior forward Moses Greenwood had a double-double in the game against Sam Houston State University. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds in the game. According to head coach Jay Ladner, Greenwood is a key player going into the season and has improved through his hard work. File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

The Lions basketball team registered a win and a loss in the road games they played last week. The team came back from their 75-65 loss to Sam Houston State University to beat Nicholls State University 67-63.

Head Coach Jay Ladner gave his thoughts on the game against Sam Houston. 

“That was an extremely well fought game,” said Ladner. “Sam Houston has a very good basketball team. Unfortunately, due to the conference scheduling, we had to go to Sam Houston for the third consecutive year where we never won. They’re very difficult to beat there. Our guys played hard and well enough to win. But, I have to give Sam Houston a lot of credit. We did not play poorly, just didn’t play well enough to beat them on that particular night.”

Ladner praised the effort of junior forward Moses Greenwood, who recorded a double-double in the game.

“Moses Greenwood has consistently improved from his arrival as a freshman,” said Ladner. “He gets better every day, in every game. He works extremely hard every day in practice. You never have to worry about his effort. He’s getting more confident and better, and he’s really become a force. He had an outstanding game against Sam Houston and is really gonna be vital to our success down the stretch.” 

Following the loss, the Lions faced off against Nicholls State in a bid to improve their conference record.  

“That was another very intense game,” said Ladner.  “Most games this time of the year are gonna be very intense. There was a tremendous crowd. There was a lot at stake at the game.”

Ladner described the proceedings of the game and how the team’s defense halted Nicholls State.

“Nicholls got off to a fast start early in the game,” said Ladner. “We came back and tied in the halftime. They went back up a couple of times in the second half. Then, we went on a 19-3 run. It was key to have better defensive play. We did a great job down the stretch playing defense and rebounding the basketball. That’s key to our offense. We did a good job executing our offense as well. What sparked it was our intensity in our defense.”

The victory against Nicholls State marked the 50th win for Ladner as head coach of the Lions. Ladner gave his thought on the accomplishment.

“I wish we could have won it a lot sooner,” said Ladner. “We’ve been able to build a program. We started with a solid foundation. We got good young men in our program. Anytime, specially at Division I level, as coaches are changed around, to win your 50th game at one particular place, which is a place you started your Division I career, it’s gratifying. I wish we would have gotten there a little bit sooner, but we’re right on track to where we need to be. Hopefully, the next 50 are gonna come a little bit sooner.” 

With a 7-2 start in the conference, the Lions are on their path to reach their goal.

“Our goal is to get to the post-season tournaments and particularly the NCAA tournament,” said Ladner. “Our goals are right there in front of us. We just have to continue to take one game at a time. We have to continue to work hard in practice.” 

The team returns to play at home on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in the University Center. Ladner expects the game to be a tough one.

“Texas A&M Corpus Christi is a team that we have never beaten since I have been the head coach,” said Ladner. “So, certainly, that’s gonna be a motivation for us. We expect a very hard fought game. They have an outstanding coach. They’re gonna be very well prepared.”