Tuesday evening’s game between the Ichabods and the Rebels of UNLV was what you would expect from an exhibition game between division I and division II teams. The Runnin’ Rebels had more depth and size than the undermanned Bods, but the Ichabods showed they had enough heart to make it a game.
The Bods lost 73-53 with junior transfer J.B. Wagner leading the team with 12 points. Red shirt freshman Paul Byers was the only other Bod to have a double-digit scoring night (10). The first half was compromised of spurts by both teams. UNLV went on an early 13-2 run and had the Bods on the ropes early.
However, the heart and tenacity of the Blues kept the lead manageable, and then went on their own 10-2 run that cut UNLV’s lead to 30-28. The rest of the half for the Blues consisted of cold shooting and another 10-1 UNLV surge, to give the Rebels a 40-29 lead at the half. The Bods were never closer than seven points in the second half, but senior Kris Milburn had positive feelings about the game.
“We learned that we have a lot of character tonight and we fought until the end. We were getting back on defense and slowing down their fast break and they didn’t get any fast-break points in the first half,” said Milburn. ?
Lon Krueger and fast-pace basketball have become synonymous in college basketball, which is why the Bods took great pride in slowing up and running with the Rebels. Although the team showed they had a great deal of heart, it appears the early injuries are taking their toll. Conditioning and lack of offense cohesiveness seems to be a concern for the team early in on this season.
“We really need to work on our set offensive plays, and improve our conditioning,” said Byers. The telltale statistic of the evening was UNLV’s 45 percent shooting from beyond the arc compared to the Bods’ 33 percent. Shooting lights out and coupled with their size and depth down low, made it a long night for the Bods. With the lack of a dominant post player on both sides of the court, the Ichabods looked to transfers Dylan Channel and Rashad Adams.
“I give credit to Dylan, Rashad and Paul. Those big guys down there, they did everything they could do,” said Milburn. Although the Bods had 20 fouls on the evening, another great sign of this team’s heart was Channel taking two charges to help establish some toughness in the paint for the Bods. Channel also noted the intensity of the Bods will pay off in the future.
“We learned tonight that everyone has heart and played extremely hard. We will do everything we can do to win. We need to come together and gel more as a team, but we have a lot of desire and we will play hard,” said Channel.
The Bods kickoff the regular season November 18 with Eastern New Mexico in the Fort Hays State Tournament. After Fort Hays, the Bods host Ottawa University November 22, and then the Premier Mortgage/WIBW Holiday Classic at Lee Arena during fall break weekend.
Using the UNLV game as a boost, the Bods hope to make a statement in the tournaments. The common goal amongst the players is to obviously win but staying healthy would be equally important with the conference season looming ahead for the Bods.