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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Basketball roundup: Spires sustain recent surge

  • Saint Mary men continue quality play while the Lady Spires head in the opposite direction
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  • It looks like the conference season was the cure the Saint Mary men's basketball team needed.
    Since winning just two of its previous six games in late November, the Spires have ripped off victories in its first two Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference contests. On Saturday, USM demolished host Friends University to the tune of 75-43.
    In doing so, Saint Mary claimed its second straight win and its fourth in its last five matchups.
    "In my five years at Saint Mary, last Saturday may have been one of the best efforts I have ever seen by my team in a KCAC game," USM coach Jon Bishop said. "More importantly, it gave us a 2-0 start in the league with both wins coming on the road, which is huge."
    At 2-0, 6-5 overall, USM sits atop the KCAC table in a three-way tie for first with Bethany College and Sterling College. On Thursday, the squad hosts Kansas Wesleyan at 8 p.m.
    Against Friends, the game was never really close. USM shot 55 percent from the field in the first half to build a 43-17 halftime lead. From there, the Spires cruised to the 32-point win.
    Twelve Saint Mary players recorded at least a point. Jordan Wilcox led the team with 17 while JEB Greenberg had a team-high eight rebounds.
    "I not only think winning both was big, but winning both on the road last week gives us a lot of momentum going into this week," Bishop said, "but we still have to continue to play well. Taking care of business this week really sets up our team heading into the break."
    Lady Spires can't stop losing skid
    The University of Saint Mary girls' basketball team lost its fifth straight game Saturday.
    Traveling to Friends University, the Lady Spires competed with its host throughout the entire 40 minutes of regulation.
    However, USM could not close strong and after being tied at 24 to end the first half, the team lost 59-53. Jordan VanNess scored a team-high 20 points while Shelby Watson had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
    Saint Mary, 4-6 overall and 0-2 in the KCAC, will host Kansas Wesleyan at 6 p.m. Thursday.
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