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Basketball takes second: Fighting Scots men’s team heads to MWC tournament

February 20, 2015

Michelle Ravel / The Courier - The Fighting Scots men's basketball team defeated Beloit College and Illinois College this past week 62-59 and 85-65, respectively. Junior Andrew Mathison (below) put up a total of 30 points for the team between the two games on Saturday in Wisconsin and Thursday at home.

In a duel against Beloit College on Saturday, the Fighting Scots men’s basketball team put up a 62-59 win at the Bucs’s home court to lock in a second place position in the Midwest Conference.

“We got off to a great start and led 19-3, but Beloit turned the pressure up and we struggled for the rest of the first half,” Head Coach Todd Skrivseth explained. “The second half was a back and forth but fortunately we were able to make some key plays down the stretch to close it out.”

“We became content and let them back in and had to fight the rest of the game to win,” junior Andrew Mathison said.

The Beloit Bucs brought back a 16-point deficit to tie it 24-24 at the end of the first half.

“We have to get better defensively. We need to improve our on-ball defense, provide better early help and have cleaner rotations,” Skrivseth said.

Freshman star Riley Blea also agreed with his coach, adding, “We have to improve on a lot of levels of our game right now, especially our defense, that’s the most important part of the game.”

Junior Reed Goodbred led the Fighting Scots in points with 19, while Mathison trailed behind him with 13 points. Mathison broke a 58-58 tie between the Bucs and the Scots with a layup with just 1:07 left in the game.

The men’s win against Beloit secured them a second place ranking within the Midwest Conference. When asked about how it felt, Mathison was very optimistic about the future.

“It feels great to be ranked second in the conference. It’s the first time in a long time that the school has even made it to the Midwest Conference Tournament,” said Mathison.

Blea added, “We’re still a little down about not being first, that’s always the goal, but we’re happy with where we’re at.”

Overall, Skrivseth believes the men’s team hasn’t quite reached the best of their abilities yet. “We have played some really good basketball at times but we still have not reached our potential as a team.  Our players understand this and continue to work to get better,” Skrivseth said.

On Wednesday, the Scots took down Illinois College at home on their senior night.

Going into halftime, Monmouth had a comfortable 45-34 lead over the Blueboys and compounded on it in the second half.

Mathison put up a game high 17 points while freshmen Will Jones and Blea added 16 and 14 a piece. The top performances pushed the Scots to a final score of 85-65.

With just one game left of the regular season, the Fighting Scots will hit the road to face Lawrence University on Saturday. Currently, the Scots sit at a record of 15-7. Regardless of the matchup, their spot is secure in the tournament.

The Midwest Conference Championship Tournament will be held Feb. 27 and 28 at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.

Cristian Corbett
Contributing Writer

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