It’s the tail end of the basketball season, and John Brown University’s basketball teams are looking to turn things around at Texas Wesleyan University.
The Golden Eagles will travel to Fort Worth, Texas and take on the Texas Wesleyan University Rams tonight. Both coaches expressed that this matchup is a game in an important part of the season.
“Everything matters because everyone will go to the conference tournament and where you finish will determine who you match up with,” Jason Beschta, men’s basketball coach, said.
Both teams are coming off losses at Wayland Baptist University on Saturday. The loss pushes the men to 11-13 on the season. A victory for the men would bring them to one game under .500 overall and end a three-game losing skid.
The Texas Wesleyan men are currently number one in the Sooner Athletic Conference and are riding a nine-game winning streak going into tonight. Beschta described Texas Wesleyan as a team with both talent and experience that has the luxury of relying on many players that can score consistently.
“[They’re] a big team,” Ricky Roberts, Golden Eagles guard said. “They look like a Division I team. They’re very athletic, they can run up and down the floor and they’ve got a great coaching staff. They just know how to play.”
Roberts acknowledged that the Golden Eagles are not as athletic as Texas Wesleyan. He went on to say that he and his teammates must play smart basketball to win the game.
“We have to do all the little things,” Roberts said. “We have to box out, rebound, make plays down the stretch and close games in order for us to be in a good position to win.”
For the ladies, a win at Texas Wesleyan would ensure the team a winning conference record. They are currently 6-6 in Sooner Athletic Conference play, and this would help them move up in a conference where they are one game back from third place.
Jeff Soderquist, women’s basketball coach, described Texas Wesleyan’s women’s team as one that could have been better this season had they not been plagued by injuries. However, the Golden Eagles know not to underestimate the Rams’ athleticism, particularly in the paint.
“They’ve had some ups and downs, but they’re a very athletic team,” Soderquist said. “They’ve got a very good post player inside that we need to really do a god job with.”
The Golden Eagles plan to stick to the same formula as the one in their 72-55 victory over Texas Wesleyan on Jan. 16—that is, switching up their offenses and defenses enough to mess with the other team’s play.
“It really caught them off guard,” Soderquist said of the offensive and defensive switching in the team’s Jan. 16 victory. “We’re [also] gonna have to rebound and guard inside really well…those are the two things we’re going to have to emphasize.”
Regardless of what this game means for the season, the Golden Eagles are currently placing all of their focus on the game at hand.
“Every game means something for you, whether you’re fighting for number one in the league…or if you’re fighting for the conference tournament,” Beschta expressed.
“Coach always likes to tell us to focus on the next game that we have,” Jana Schammel, women’s team guard, said. “That’s the most important game of the season.”