St. Edward’s men’s basketball team on two-game losing streak

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St. Edward’s men’s basketball team on two-game losing streak

Senior pointguard and co-captain Frank Mgbolu played for 27 minutes.

Senior pointguard and co-captain Frank Mgbolu played for 27 minutes.

Senior pointguard and co-captain Frank Mgbolu played for 27 minutes.

Senior pointguard and co-captain Frank Mgbolu played for 27 minutes.

By: Amanda Gonzalez

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This week’s back-to-back losses have sent the St. Edward’s men’s basketball team from No. 2 to No. 5 in the Heartland Conference’s current standings as they have an overall 11-4 record and a 4-3 conference record.

Thursday’s close 61-60 loss against the conference’s No. 1 team A&M-International University started and finished like it could’ve been anyone’s game.

“You can’t feel bad for yourself, you need to bounce back. That’s the reality of this league,” St. Edward’s Head Coach Andre Cook says. “This is a tough loss, but if you feel sorry for yourself this two-game losing streak could go to three, and we need to cut it off pretty quick.”

The first low-scoring five minutes, both teams were tied at six, but A&M quickly doubled the score to 12. Soon after, St. Edward’s battled back.

Senior point guard Frank Mgbolu made an assist to fellow co-captain, guard Trey Lindsey for a layup to tie the game at 22. The game would soon be tied again at 25 with 1:25 remaining.

With the last seconds of the first half ticking down, Mgbolu made another assist to forward James Taylor who made a three-pointer to increase the lead to 30-26.

At the start of the second half, St. Edward’s used good offensive and defensive pressure to keep the score 37-29 in the first four minutes.

After a collision with an A&M player at 14:48, Mgbolu left the game limping. In his absence, sophomore Sean Watkins took over at point guard. As 12 long minutes remained, Aubrie King and Taylor also came in to relieve some of the starters.

“Our bench has been really good most of the year. Sean has been great all year, in particular, last month. When he’s in there, we feel really confident,” Cook said.

Both teams starting playing sloppily, giving each other several free-throw opportunities, which helped bring the score to 51-47.

At 6:30, Mgbolu returned to the court. Since he was running a little slower, he constantly passed the ball to his teammates.

However, the A&M bench cheered loudly at 4:38 when they took a 55-52 lead for the first time in the second half.

The St. Edward’s bench and fans had their turn to cheer when junior guard John Gramlich responded with a three-pointer followed by a layup from Mgbolu to make the score 57-55.

After an A&M timeout, the Dustdevils retook then extended the lead 61-57 with only 1:33 remaining. Having to play catch-up, Mgbolu marched up for another layup, bringing the score to a close 61-60 at 0:46 seconds.

In a rebound scramble with less than 0:16 left, St. Edward’s Gramlich ended up with the ball and took a “Hail Mary” shot practically from the free-throw line and missed, making the final score 61-60.

“I don’t think anyone was super great tonight, but they competed. I feel bad for them, but I know they competed, and we have to do it again on Saturday,” Cook said.

St. Edward’s next home game is Saturday at 3:00 PM against rival St. Mary’s University. This game will serve as a rematch of last season’s conference championship where St. Mary’s narrowly defeated St. Edward’s 63-60.