Mediocre play continues for the Bison

Thomas Walter, Writer

The men’s basketball team ended its two-game losing streak by defeating Colgate 79-68 on Feb. 1.  This positive momentum was then stalled as the Bison lost to Lafayette 66-58 on Feb. 5.  It was the first game the Leopards have ever won in Sojka Pavilion. The Bison are now 10-12 and 5-6 in the Patriot League.

It is not the exact start that the Orange and Blue are looking for in the second round of regular season Patriot League play.

“In our last practice Coach Paulsen was talking about how the second half is a new season.  We approach each game with the same intensity and try to go out and execute our game plan to put us in the best position to win each game,” Ryan Frazier ’16 said.

Against Colgate, the Bison had great energy from the whole team. Five players–Cameron Ayers ’14, graduate student Brian Fitzpatrick, Ben Brackney ’14, Steven Kaspar ’15, and Chris Hass ’16–tallied more than eight points.

Ayers was the sparkplug against the Raiders, making eight of his first 11 shots. He was also 3-5 from three-point range. Ayers has been on an absolute scoring tear recently, scorching the Raiders for 21 points, then adding another 22 against Lafayette. It was his fourth straight game over 20 points.

But the Bison can’t continue to rely on Ayers’ point production. After all, in those last four games the Orange and Blue are only 1-3.

“It starts on the defensive end. Our defensive intensity is key,” Frazier said. “We have to just trust in each other, trust that each teammate is going to make the right play, and when it’s your turn to make that play–making a shot, getting a defensive stop, diving on the floor for a loose ball or securing a rebound–we just need to trust one another.”

The multiple scoring options trend continued into the first half of the Lafayette game. The Orange and Blue lead 14-7 early with seven different players making shots. The team led 26-24 at the half, but shot only 37.9 percent from the field.

The Bison’s shooting woes continued into the second half. In addition to hitting only 20 percent of their field goals, the Orange and Blue were 2-10 on treys. The offensive slump allowed Lafayette to gain the upper hand early in the second half and break away with a lead they would not relinquish.

“Sometimes offensive slumps will occur and the only way you can stay in the game is on the defensive end,” Frazier said.

The Bison will look to get the momentum back on their side as they travel up to Worcester, Mass. to face Holy Cross this Sunday at noon.

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