By Ian Jackson
Photos by Ian Jackson
The Roosevelt Lakers won a hard fought game vs Cardinal Stritch 73-65. With that win, it was the Lakers first ever win over Stritch after falling 11 previous times. “The focus was it was a must win, and their guys prepared exceptionally well and competed very hard,” the team’s head coach Joe Griffin said.
The first half of the game, which took place on Feb. 1, showed a battle between defenses as the score’s lead altered back and forth throughout, separated by a single point. The second half began with the Lakers starting the period and outscoring the Wolves 25-9 to eventually take a 15-point lead.
“During halftime we talked up some strategies and really enforced sagging back on defense on guys that couldn’t shoot well, forcing the opponents that had poor shooting percentages to either shoot or make tough passes to guys that are almost double teamed,” Senior Guard/Forward Damian Zalewski said.
Kevin Day and Jake Ludwig scored a game-high 16 points each, Day canned a pair of critical three-point buckets during his career-high performance, and Ludwig did his damage at the charity stripe by going 14-for-14.
“The key factors were our defensive strategy, our communication on both sides of the ball, and the contributions of our bench, with several reserves hitting big shots and giving us meaningful minutes,” Griffin said.
Carson Hughes added 11 points and Kyle Bumbalough scored 10. The Lakers rejoiced with the return of Joshua Dillingham who collected seven rebounds in his first game back from injury.
“Whenever you have your bench heavily involved in the game, it’s a good sign. We really had a lot of momentum seeing some guys play out of their shells and it was the reason we were able to walk away from the game with the win,” Senior Guard Jason Markus said.
The next two Wednesday games coming up are the matchups between (10) Robert Morris University and Judson University.
“We still need to do some work if we are to qualify for the CCAC tournament. We need to take it one game at a time, and we have two more big home games the next two Wednesdays, it would be great for our campus community to come and show some support,” Coach Griffin said.