On Dec. 5, the men’s basketball team started conference play on the road against rival Colorado Christian University. The Orediggers prevailed 79-73 and improved the team’s season record to 6-1. After the game, Ben Sonnefeld commented on the team’s performance.
“At the beginning, our post presence got us a lot of inside buckets,” he stated. “Overall, we struggled shooting the ball, but good defense led to good offense and we were able to move the ball successfully.”
Despite the difficulties in shooting, the Orediggers earned an early lead and were able to retain it throughout the game.
“It’s great,” Gokul Natesman explained of the importance of the team’s win. “Starting off conference on the road at the local rival, it’s really important to get off to a good start. The RMAC isn’t easy. Although we know we may not have shot as well, we played really hard on defense and that’s something that we want to keep going forward.”
The team is on the road against Fort Lewis on Dec. 11 and plays at home Dec. 18 and 19 against Colorado Mesa and Westminster. With the majority of the season still ahead of them, the team’s focus will shift towards making improvements in practice.
“I think it was still early in the season and we were still figuring things out,” Caleb Waitsman explained, “We’re still trying to figure out where our scoring is going to come from. Gokul is having a great year of scoring already, but there’s got to be more than that beause teams are going to be able to lock down one guy easy. We’re still trying to figure out who those second and third guys are going to be on our scoring roster.”
However, when the team played CCU, there was not a shortage of scorers.
Ben Sonnefeld commented, “On another note, our scoring was balanced. All five starters scored in the double figures so that’s a big win, we’ll take that.”
The team remains positive towards the end of the season. After the first few games, the team has been able to start to figure things out.
“I think now we’ve gotten a few games under our belt we have started to find ourselves a little more, gotten a better rotation and better chemistry within the team,” Joe Dellenbach explained. “With three players coming back from last year’s team, we know what it takes to get to that title level of play, and guys on the bench. They practice with us every single day so they know what’s expected.”
Above: Murphy Gershman, junior, finishes a lay up against St. Mary’s on Nov. 13. The men’s basketball team is currently ranked 15th in the nation.