“No.” is the only word senior guard Aaron Anderson had to offer about whether the effort is there for his team right now as the team fell against IPFW 87-83 Saturday afternoon.
Effort was not the only disappointment the Golden Eagles had against IPFW, who gave ORU its 16th loss of the season and sixth in conference.
“It’s awful, it was terrible. Number one, the containment was bad. I think our guys were so concerned about them shooting the three, because they hit 20 threes on us up in Fort Wayne that we did a poor job of getting over and stopping penetration,” said Head Coach Scott Sutton. “I though we’ve played really good basketball the last two weeks, our guys competed and played tough. But today for whatever reason I don’t think we made tough plays.”
The Mastodons dominated the Golden Eagles in almost every facet of the game, especially scoring in the paint. ORU couldn’t handle IPFW ballhandlers dribbling to the lane forcing their way to the basket. IPFW finished with 54 points in the paint.
“That was kind of a key coming into the game. We started the game pretty poorly and you put so much pressure on yourself when you play from behind like that to make a miraculous comeback,” said senior guard Jalen Bradley. “If we contain the ball, it wouldn’t put so much pressure on us to be running around and scrambling.”
Junior center Albert Owens is averaging 22.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game this season and has been leading the team offensively, but the Mastodons forced someone else to make plays and it didn’t happen. Although he finished with 20 points on the night, he shot a subpar 5-15 from the field to go along with four rebounds.
The offense never came for ORU. While Bradley and Anderson along with some three-point shooting from Aaron Young and Darian Harris tried to supplement Owens’ quiet night, it was the absence of offense from Kris Martin that hurt the Golden Eagles the most. Martin failed to score for the second straight time against the Mastodons, who held Martin scoreless when the teams met in December.
“I don’t know what was wrong with K-Mart today, he is great scorer and this is the second game in a row he just didn’t score. I can’t believe it,” said Sutton.
“Guys just need to come in a play from the get-go, we need to be ready to play as soon as the ball tips and that’s not the case right now,” said Anderson.
The Golden Eagles will look to get back on track Tuesday night as Denver rolls into town as the conference schedule continues. The tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Mabee Center.