Men’s Basketball Focuses on Chemistry, Holds on to Third Place in RMAC

With seven games remaining in conference play, the men’s basketball team has accomplished a 10-5 conference record. The Orediggers are currently ranked third in the RMAC.

On Jan. 22, the Orediggers lost to CSU Pueblo. In the following three games, the Orediggers defeated Western State (Jan. 23), South Dakota School of Mines (Jan. 29), and Black Hills State (Jan. 30).

After Friday’s victory against South Dakota School of Mines (Jan. 29), Head Coach Pryor Orser spoke about the team performance.

“I’m really happy with how well we played with each other. Guys were moving without the ball. We kept grinding and we just kept to our system. Every once in a while, a team like Pueblo will jump up and make all those threes. But day in and day out, we’re going to be in games and we’re going to be competitive. I think we’re in a really good place,” said Coach Orser. “The team is really comfortable with each other. This is the home stretch, we only have eight games left, and we’re in a good place.”

The team rebounded from their loss against CSUPueblo with three consecutive wins.

“I think we could be more consistent but definitely during these last two games we have stepped it up a notch. We’re going out there and playing a little more loosely and having more fun. I think that will help build off the little streak we have right now,” commented junior guard Gokul Natesan about the team’s consistence. This season the team has played more team ball and relied on each other.

“I think last year we had a little bit more fire power and guys that were scoring. I think this year, being a team has been more important than it was in the past. We don’t have all those guys that we can rely on, so everyone needs to play together,” senior forward Joe Dellenbach elaborated. As the team heads into the final stretch of the season, the team is continuing to improve their team style of play.

“It takes time to get together and get something going, and I think we are starting to get a hang of each other,” Natesan stated.

The team plays home games against New Mexico Highlands on Feb. 12 and Western New Mexico on Feb. 13.

Above: Junior Caleb Waitsman goes up to block a Western State’s shot on January 23. The team went on to win the game 95-71, achieving their 13th victory of the season.

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