Men battle through break

By Andy Atterbury
On January 14, 2011

 

While most of ASU was at home opening presents and taking a break from school, the Rams basketball team were still playing basketball.

During the break the Rams split their eight games for a 4-4 record to bring them to 4-8 overall.

"Our schedule is extremely tough," Head Coach Fred Rike said. "We did come back and win two road games which I thought was huge being that we had six out of our eight games on the road. Anytime you can win on the road it's big.

A win against East Central and a loss against Texas-Permian Basin both went in to overtime.  The Rams biggest loss of the break was only by nine points.

"I think we picked it up at the end," senior guard Rich Thomas said. "We showed that we had poise, and we're going to be pretty good in conference play."

The team needs to improve their shot selection, work on their ball control, and share the ball better as they head into conference play, Rike said.

"We still have room for improvement and I think we have a high ceiling," Rike said. "We always want to hit our stride in January, it's what we push for. I've already seen a big improvement with this team defensively"

On Jan. 8 the Rams surrendered only 38 points to Southwestern Oklahoma to tie the record for least points allowed.

"[Southwestern scored] two 3-pointers in the last minute or we would have broken the school record," Rike said. "I think our guys are really defending hard."

With most of the student body out of town, the Rams didn't let the lack of student fan support get them down, Thomas said.

"We play basketball," Thomas said. "You realize [that the fans aren't there], but you still have to go out there and play."

Playing in front of the home crowd again is going to get the team pumped up, Rike said.

"Anytime you can play in front of the student body it's big," Rike said. "It gives the guys energy and gets them excited."


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