While most students spent their winter breaks hanging out with family and friends back home, the men’s and women’s basketball teams were hard at work playing several games, in Beloit and on the road.
The men’s basketball team returned to campus Dec. 28 to prepare for the Jan. 2 away game against Grinnell College, which the Bucs lost 128-86. Since then they played one more away game versus Carroll University, a loss of 74-72.
They won, however, all three home games they played over break when they faced off against Illinois College (79-61), Wisconsin Lutheran College (80-73), and Cornell College (94-68).
“Those two games that bookended our abbreviated break were certainly not our best,” said Head Coach Brian Vraney referring to the 56-52 loss against MSOE on Dec. 20 and their next game against Grinnell College after their eight-day break.
“But coming back the guys responded and got a great win against Illinois College, which we needed because we only play them once this year,” he said. “Carroll was a pretty hard fought game and we came up short; but, the guys bounced back against Cornell this past Saturday and hopefully that will give us the momentum going into (tonight’s) game (against St. Norbert).”
As for women’s basketball, the team arrived back to campus on Dec. 26 in advance of the Dec. 29 game against Elmhurst College.
“As a whole they showed a lot of improvement,” said Head Coach Jennifer McCormick. “We had several close games, and we pretty much got all of our injured back after the first of the year. We had four injuries and one sick. One is out for the year, but we had the other ones all back by the beginning of January, and that helped us a lot to have our full roster back.”
The Bucs lost their away games against Elmhurst College (85-55), Grinnell College (62-55), and Carroll University (75-74). They were also defeated by Cornell College last weekend in a home game 89-59, but they won the home game against Illinois College 77-67, which was their first Midwest Conference game win this season.
The women’s team also plays St. Norbert tonight at home, and McCormick is looking forward to the newly returned students coming to watch.
“Having a crowd helps get everyone going, and hopefully we’ll get a win this time,” she said.