By Justin Comett
The William Peace University Pacers lost to North Carolina Wesleyan’s Battling Bishops 100 to 90 in their recent game. The team had a few good moments, but trailed the Battling Bishops by ten points for a majority of the night.
The first half saw the Pacers rack up 40 points; however, it was no match for NC Wesleyan’s fluid offensive and defensive strategy that gave them 47 points to end the first half.
The Bishops’ D.J. Weaver and Brandon Brown led them to glory with 23 and 19 points respectively, but this wasn’t the only advantage of the night. All five starters from the Bishops managed to reach double figures.
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“We have four goals that we try to accomplish. One of those is work hard. Play to win is another one. Have fun and make every possession count, and so all of those are what we’re repeating in practice and games. No matter the score, we keep fighting so that we always have a chance.”
WPU Men’s Basketball Coach Claude Shields
“Wesleyan is a really good team and a really tough matchup for us,” said WPU Men’s Basketball Coach Claude Shields.
The team went into the game knowing that it would be a tough match, and that they would have to fight hard to overcome Wesleyan’s defense.
“We were down, throughout most of the game 7, 8, 10, but staying in that range we had the four minutes and we just couldn’t get over the top,” said Shields.
Even though they couldn’t find a lead, the Pacers put up some incredible stats from the Monday night matchup. Chris Thomas, Ryan Emfinger, Dakota King, and Terry Rogers all racked up double digits to give the team 50 points in the second half. Thomas and Emfinger, the two leading scorers of the game, brought in 24 and 16 points respectively.
Even with a loss, Shields encouraged positive attitudes and thinking.
Throughout everything the team had been through, they never gave up and they showed signs of strength and hunger. Although this wasn’t a conference match, it was still vital that the team try to pull through. With over 50 percent
of shots being made from inside the key, both the Pacers and the Bishops delivered a well-played game and brought intensity onto the court.
With a double header against Averett coming soon, Coach shields spoke on the improvements that needed to be made before the big game.
“What we are really working on is what we’ve been talking about: execution,” said Shields. “Getting to that four minute mark in the game, we preach that all the time ‘get the four minutes; get the four minutes’ and then we’ll finish the job.”
Coach ended by saying that with execution, preferably on the defensive end, it will help bring victory to the Pacers in the future. The Pacers offense is showing to be very fruitful, but for Shields, execution on the defensive end will be the key to success.