The Great Lakes Christian College Crusaders took on Madonna University Saturday afternoon at the Doty Center. For the GLCC it was the second game of the year but for MU it was only their first game of the season. Early in the game you could tell it was Madonna's first game with the energy and tenacity they played with in the early stages. MU jumped out of the gate on the home team to build a 10 point lead. The Crusaders struggled to find any kind of offensive rhythm against the long 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones Madonna showed. The road team was able to build their lead as large as 18 before Coach Westerlund called a time out to implore his team to play with more energy and passion. Chance Pickens-Roberts and Amir Huston Jr entered the game late in the half and provided the spark the Crusaders needed to get back into the game. Pickens-Roberts and Huston energy on defense led to a quick 5 points from Pickens-Roberts. A half time buzzer beater from Ja'Quin Jones cut the lead to 13 at the half.
The second half the Crusaders showed much more fight and battled every possession. The Crusaders turned up the pressure with their signature pressure defense and were able to cut the lead to 8 and had Madonna on the ropes, but MU regrouped and responded to the Crusader run with an 8-0 run of their own to get it back to 16 with only 8 minutes to go, but the home team refused to give in and continue to battled, and was able to cut the lead to 6 points. The Crusaders were not able to get over that hump and get any closer. DonTre Garret scored 13 points and grabbed 6 boards for the Crusaders
Inside the Box Score:
- The Crusaders shot an ice cold 29.2% from the field on the game compared to Madonna University's 43%
- After being out rebounded by 29 rebounds the first game of the season the Crusaders won the rebounding battle 47-46, led by Isiah Reed's 15 rebounds
- Ja'Quin Jones led the Crusaders with 13 points 4 blocks 3 rebounds and 3 steals
- Crusaders turned it over 17 times after only turning it over 5 times in the first game
What Coach Says:
"I thought we executed the gameplan defensively well. We did a good job limiting their post players and did a solid job on the glass. Ultimately Madonna threw the first punch tonight and just played with more energy than us early, and we just dug ourselves too big of a hole. I am proud of my guys fight we showed to not give in and roll over. We are learning how to win still. These are tough games and were going to start coming out on the right end of these, we just need to put together a complete 40 minutes. Ultimately the way we are defense is playing we are staying in games. We just need to find way to score the ball. We have a talented group, shots just aren't falling yet. We are due. I know were going to be alright." On the spark bench played, "Chance and AJ were awesome tonight. They just played hard and gave us the energy we needed. I was really proud of them. Ja'Quin is our Manu Ginobili. He has really accepted this 6th man role, and he is doing a great job in the role." On what the team needs to keep improving, "We just need to keep getting into the gym. Really lock in and focus in practice. Right now it is all details for us. We are a few possessions away from wins so it is just finding a way to come out on top in those 3 or 4 more possessions a game."
The Crusaders will travel to South Bend, Indiana to take on Holy Cross College on Tuesday, October 30th. Tip off is scheduled for 7:00pm