Men’s basketball coach ‘disappointed’ after 19-point win

Amanda Gonzalez

At the end of the first home game of the season, the St. Edward’s University men’s basketball team finished with a dominant 95-76 win against Southwestern University and extended their current record to 3-0.

However, despite the win, Head Coach Andre Cook emphasized that the team has several game areas the team could improve on: energy, fouls and defense.

“I was disappointed, quite honestly. I was disappointed with how we came out. I thought we would have a little more juice, a little more energy with the home crowd,” Cook said. [The crowd] wanted to have a team to cheer for, and our team didn’t give them much energy or juice to be happy about.”

At tip-off, Southwestern came out strong, leading 7-2 in the first few minutes. Southwestern was more tactically organized and capitalized on three-pointers and various jumpshots.

After a few turnovers and good steals, St. Edward’s took a 13-12 lead and managed to stay on top for the most part throughout the game.

“The way we played in the first half is not indicative of how we need to play,” Cook said. “We were fouling all the time.”

At the end of the first half, St. Edward’s had collected 13 fouls, but still managed to lead 43-37.

In the second half, the team seemed more cohesive offensively, but still managed to foul 16 times. Throughout the entire game, Southwestern fouled 22 times. However, the Hilltoppers scored 52 points in the second half to make the final score 95-76.

“We fouled a lot. We fouled too much. Southwestern, I think, took 35 free-throws — but that goes back to coaching. Obviously, they’re not sure of what we need to do. We’ve got to go back and make sure we got to work at it,” Cook said. “Because in the end, I’m the head coach and I’ve got to get them to play the way I need them to play.”

Looking at his stats sheet after the game, Cook discussed some of the offensive standouts.

“Frank was good. Frank had 19 points in 26 minutes. Ramir came out aggressive. I would say that he had 17 points … and really got us going on offense,” Cook said. “Aubrie did what Aubrie does, made some three’s, and Ethan got it going there late.”

Despite being predicted to finish ninth in the conference last season, the underdog St. Edward’s reached the Heartland Conference Championship and narrowly lost 63-60 to rival St. Mary’s University.

This season, the Hilltoppers are predicted to finish fourth in the conference. However, all minus two of last season’s players returned this season. Since they reached the championship game last season, the team knows what it takes to get there again. Now they are determined to earn a trophy at the end of this season.

“We’ll get better. It’s a win. I’ll never give back a win.,” Cook said about the team’s game on Nov. 17. “But we have to get it worked out, and be better [this] weekend to go to the Angelo State tournament.”