Statesmen win defensive battle
by Andy Collier
Feb 02, 2014 | 838 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Defense proved to be the name of the game for the No. 15 Delta State University Statesmen here Saturday evening at the Walter Sillers Coliseum.

The Statesmen held the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers to just 28.8 percent (17-of-59) shooting from the floor in their 59-51 victory. The win pushed DSU’s record to 17-2 overall with a 10-1 mark in the GSC, while the UAH fell to 10-9 with a 6-6 mark in the conference.

The defense couldn’t have played well at a better time as the Statesmen shot just 36 percent (18-of-50) for the game. DSU also outrebounded UAH 46-34. The 59 points DSU scored was the team’s second lowest total for the seasons.

“I thought that Huntsville did an outstanding job of defending our offense and took some things away from us that we have not had teams do,” Statesmen head coach Jim Boone said. “Therefore, we had to be a little bit more patient in our offensive attack, and I thought we got a little flustered at times and took some ill-advised shots.

“With that being said, I thought our defense turned it up a whole other level and really guarded a really good offensive basketball team extremely well.”

The Statesmen led 22-17 at halftime. The Chargers actually held a five-point lead at 30-25 with 14:05 left to play, but the Statesmen didn’t stay down. DSU battled back and would eventually get the lead up to as much as 10 points to put the game out of reach.

Delta State’s defense held UAH’s Wayne Dedrick, Ronnie Mack and Conner Blasi, who are scoring a combined 43.4 points per game and shooting a combined 46 percent, were held to only 18 points on 6-of-28 shooting (21.4 percent) from the floor. Wayne scored nine points, while Mack and Blasi scored five and four respectively.

Boone was proud of the defense played by Cornell Knight, Jack Madgen, Mike Weems and Willie Readus.

“Cornell Knight, Jack Madgen and Mike Weems really stood out and they were responsible for guarding Dedrick and Mack,” Boone said. “I thought those three were just outstanding, being in the right spots and making them work for their shots.

“They (UAH) have a really good compliment to their perimeter play with Blasi, their 6-9 center. I thought Willie Readus played one of his best defensive games of the year to keep the ball out of the post most of the evening.”

On offense for DSU, Readus turned in his 10th double-double of the season by scoring 16 points with 15 rebounds. Devin Schmidt aided the Statesmen with a double-double of his own by scoring 12 points with 11 rebounds, followed by Mike Washington with 11 points and six rebounds and Alister Chisholm with nine points and seven rebounds.

Seab Webster led the Chargers with 14 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Greg Gardner with 13 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Delta State will return to the court on Monday when the team hosts West Alabama in a GSC game set to start at 7:30 p.m.