This past weekend the women’s basketball team hosted the Southwestern College Classic Basketball Tournament. Returning to campus still stuffed Friday after Thanksgiving, the team started off with La Grange College Panthers from La Grange, Georgia.
The first half saw the score tied five times, with the largest lead at 6. A three pointer from junior Shae Seagraves made the score 21-15.
After going into the half with a five-point lead, the Panthers tied it at 43 with 11 minutes left in the half. The Bucs led briefly after free throws from senior Narisa Trammell, but the score was tied again at 53 with seven minutes remaining. First-year Katelyn Bartell and Seagraves teamed up and made 5 buckets in three minutes, putting the Bucs up by eight. Down the stretch, a three pointer by senior Jessica Herbst and more free throws from Trammell finished out the game with a 76-68. Seagraves had the most points, with 25; Trammell had 13 while going 9-10 on free throws, and junior Staley Mullins recorded her second double double of the season, with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
For the second game against the Otterbein Cardinals, scoring an impressive 29 points from the line pushed them over the edge for a 76-69 win. A slow start caused the Bucs to get behind 32-38 at the half. Going into the second half, the Bucs slowly started closing ground on the Cards, eventually pulling ahead with 6 and a half minutes remaining, off of a score by Bartell. The Bucs took the lead for good with 2:49 left, off of free throws by Mullins. Bartell led the team with 22 points, with Seagraves and Mullins scoring 20 and 17 respectively, and were tournament all team selections. The team shot an impressive 59.1% in the second half.
Seagraves was also named Pirate Athlete of the Week for her efforts throughout the tournament.
“The tournament went extremely well. We came out prepared and played the way we’re capable of and got two wins, which felt great!” said Trammell. “My expectation for the year is to make it to the conference tournament and hopefully win the tournament and make our first appearance in the NCAA playoffs and take it from there. The team is looking great–we’re really coming together, gaining confidence and playing up to our abilities, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”
The Bucs have improved to 2-2 for the season, and next take the court in San Antonio against Trinity, where they open up SCAC conference action.
The men’s team has also gotten off to a great start, sitting at 3-1 as of December 2. Nick Caputo lead the Pirates in scoring with 16 in their first win, 48-46, at the University of Dallas. In that game, Southwestern shot 34.8% from the floor and 37.5% from beyond the arc while holding the Crusaders to 29.4% from the floor and 13.3% from three-point range.
The following week, the Pirates went to Chicago for the University of Chicago Midway Classic. In game one, the Pirates got off to a strong start against former SCAC opponent Rose Hulman. However, cold shooting proved to be the difference in their first loss of the season, 50-56. Senior Zach Bergstrom was the only Pirate in double digits, scoring a team high 18 points and shooting 5-9 from behind the three-point line.
The men managed to defeat Earlham College in the consolation game, shooting 53.8% from the field for the game and 30% from beyond the three-point line. Jonathan Brown led the way in points with 24. Travis Barber added 20, and Collyn Kelley chipped in 10 off the bench.
Bergstrom was named to the All-Tournament team for his efforts in the Midway Classic. He averaged 11.5 points per game for the tournament.
Two days after the Earlham win, the Pirates traveled to Abilene to face the Hardin Simmons University Cowboys. A 17-0 run at the beginning of the second half set the tone for the Pirates, giving them a 55-42 lead. Three pointers by Caputo contributed to the success of the run.
Brown continued his dominance, scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He was named SCAC Athlete of the Week for his efforts. Caputo added 16 points and Bergstrom chipped in 13.
The men will open conference play at Trinity on Thursday. Southwestern defeated Trinity last season in the conference tourna
ment, advancing to the championship game but losing to Centre.
The Pirates look to return to the championship game this year and hopefully take the conference title.