Tribe men’s basketball traveled to Kansas State University Saturday and fell to the Big 12’s Wildcats 60-70. Paced by freshman point guard David Schneider, the College kept it close throughout and even enjoyed an 11-point lead in the first half. Schneider’s 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists earned him his first CAA Rookie of the Week Award.
p. “He’s relentless in his effort and he played with no fear,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said.
p. The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, but Schneider hit a three-pointer to spark the Tribe’s 18-3 run. To cap the run, juniors Nathan Mann and Laimis Kisielius, who chipped in with 16 points, each hit three-pointers assisted by Schneider.
p. “The key [to the run] was shot selection,” Shaver said. “We got great looks at the basket and stayed within the confines of our offense.”
p. Down 7-18, Kansas State started to press the Tribe and went on a 20-2 run to erase the deficit and take a 27-20 lead. The Wildcats maintained the seven-point advantage and ended the first half leading 34-27.
p. “We played really well at times and really competed hard,” Shaver said. “With the exception of a six-minute run, we held our composure.”
p. The Tribe fought hard in the second half, but could not make it over the hump and could only get within four points of Kansas State. The Tribe connected on only 39.6 percent of its shots, but stayed in the game by holding the Wildcats to a 30 percent shooting performance.
p. The Wildcats made up for their poor shooting by dominating the College on the boards, holding a 59-38 advantage and forcing the Tribe to commit 19 turnovers. Moreover, Kansas State turned the ball over only nine times, which limited the College’s fastbreak chances.
p. Heading into the game, Shaver believed rebounding would be key, and it was. Kansas State’s strong rebounding enabled the Wildcats to score 26 second-chance points.
p. “We defended very well early. We wanted to make them shoot from the outside,” Shaver said. “But we didn’t stop the second chances.”
p. The Tribe can expect athletic opponents — like the Wildcats — and physical play all season long. Playing at Kansas State gave the Tribe underclassmen a chance to play in a tough environment.
p. “We are going to face teams this tough in the CAA and with this level of athleticism,” Shaver said.
p. Traveling to Kansas State also served as a homecoming for Mann – a native of Overland Park, Kansas; he saw limited action due to foul trouble, but Shaver was glad that Mann had the opportunity to play in front of family and friends.
p. The College will have a chance to play in front of many friends in this Monday’s home opener when the Tribe hosts Wagner College at 7 p.m. in Kaplan Arena. Shaver noted that Assistant Coach Dee Vick worked hard to ensure that the College would play at home often. The effort paid off as the Tribe plays seven of its 11 non-conference games at home in Kaplan Arena.
p. “We’re excited to be playing at home,” Shaver said. “We hope the student body and the community will come and help us create an atmosphere that’s tough to play in for our opponents.”
p. Nevertheless, Shaver believes it is his and his team’s responsibility to entice people to the games.
p. “The real key to gaining consistent support is winning,” Shaver said. “It’s on our shoulders.”