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Scots start seasons out strong

November 20, 2015

Michelle Ravel - The Courier

Both of Monmouth College’s basketball teams started their season with strong showings on their home court. The women’s basketball team came out rolling in Kyle Wilson’s first game as head coach, before ultimately falling to Millikin University 76-63 on Sunday in Monmouth. The men’s blew out Eureka College 101-71 this past Monday.

“I was really pleased with our intensity and effort,” said senior Jon Calhoun. “We need to still work on valuing the ball and cleaning up our rotations on defense. We had a lot of turnovers Monday night.

“If we could even cut those in half and position better on defense, we would have not allowed them 71 points and we could have tacked on more to our score.”

The first ten minutes were competitive before the Scots took off on both offense and defense and would hold control of the game for the rest of the night.

The Scots dominated the perimeter and the rebound battle as they out-rebounded Eureka 61-32.

Sophomore Will Jones hit four of his first nine 3-point attempts in the first half to get the Scots’ offense rolling early.

The Scots ended the first half on a 22-5 run which was capped off by Calhoun’s back-to-back scores which gave Monmouth a 51-32 lead at half.

Monmouth came out the second half similar to how it ended the first as the Scots finished with five players in double digit scoring.

Jones and Riley Blea lead the Scots with 20 and 16, respectively. Calhoun, Andrew Mathison and Matt Juhola put up fourteen, twelve and eleven pointes respectively for the Scots.

The big men trio for Monmouth controlled the paint, allowing Eureka only 24 points in the paint and nine offensive rebounds. Mathison, Juhola and Ben Friday combined for 12 rebounds for the game.

The women showed promise on offense from sophomore Kelsey Walsberg and senior Katie Houston as they combined for 21 of the team’s 33 first-half points.

“We were happy with the way we fought back in the first half,” said Walsberg. “After we had a slow start, we liked how we pushed the ball up the floor in transition.”

Walsberg hit four of her first seven 3-point attempts in the first half. The Scots led Millikin 33-31 heading into half.

The second half would be a different story for Millikin as they outscored Monmouth 28-10 in the third quarter.

Monmouth ultimately lost the turnover battle as the Scots had 24 and were out-rebounded 41-35. Millikin forward Alyssa Saklak finished with a game high 30 points and nine rebounds.

Walsberg led the Scots in scoring with 21 points. Tia Robertson also chipped in 15 points and 5 rebounds.

“We’re already looking ahead to the next games,” said Walsberg. “For the next game we need to work on being more patient on offense, communicating more on both ends of the floor, handling adversity and sticking to our game plan even when we are tired.”

The women’s team will compete in the Hope Tip-Off Tournament in Holland, MI on Friday and Saturday. The Scots will begin conference play when they take on Grinnell College on November 24.

The men’s team will head west to Waverly, Iowa to play in the Wartburg Tournament this weekend. They will take on the University of Wisconsin-Stout on Friday night at 6 p.m.

Jeff Larsen
Contributing Writer

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