Kierrla Yates, Staff Writer
While many students at Saint Martin’s University were away for winter break, our men’s and women’s basketball teams were busy playing tough games, which included a challenging tournament for the men and important Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) games for both. The men’s team found themselves in a struggle for wins, and the women’s team has experienced both great victories and tough losses.
Before heading home for the holidays, the men’s basketball team flew to Honolulu for the Division II Power Invitational. Over the span of three days they played the Colorado School of Mines, Hawaii at Hilo, and University of Arkansas at Monticello. Unable to execute together, the Saint’s lost all three of their games. Their best game came against Hawaii at Hilo with an ending score of 70-77.
Before heading home for break, the Saint Martin’s women’s team had two wins against Northwest Christian and Vancouver Island. The women played both games at home, beating Northwest Christian 83-50 and Vancouver Island 72-62. With a winning streak of two, the women’s team had momentum heading into the new year. Since the start of the month, the women have played five games, all against GNAC teams. They carried their momentum, and defeated Alaska Fairbanks by a margin of 34 points. Their next matchup against Alaska Anchorage resulted in a loss for the lady Saints and was followed by a losing streak of two. When the Saints faced the Western Washington Vikings on Jan. 9, they experienced a cold night of shooting. They were down 7-27, a difficult start to overcome at the end of the first quarter. Unable to make a comeback from the first quarter, the women fought, but could not catch up. After the brutal game against Western, the women’s team was hungry for a win and channeled that energy into their game against Western Oregon. On Jan. 16, the women defeated the Western Oregon Wolves 71-64, with Claire Dingus finishing the game with 16 points, and Bria Thames leading the team with 19 rebounds.
After Thursday night’s game, the lady Saints are 7-7 overall, ranking them seventh overall in the GNAC. Moving further into the season, the women are scheduled to play 13 more games against GNAC teams, playing each team twice. Hopefully, for all of us Saint’s fans, they can leverage their previous losses to their advantage and rise throughout the conference ranks.
The men are struggling to find their rhythm, currently sitting 11th in the GNAC rankings with an overall record of 4-13. Great effort has been shown through freshman Alex Schumacher, junior Demonte Malloy, and redshirt junior Logan Rooney in Thursday night’s game against the Michigan State Billings. As the season progresses, the Saint Martin’s men need to find their hustle and drive in order to find themselves in a winning position.