A Giant Step Forward
The Webster University men’s basketball team has struggled so far this season. But the Gorloks’ win over Westminster College on Nov. 30 gives the team hope for the rest of the season.
Webster has played only one St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game up to this point, which resulted in a 73-52 victory over Westminster. Other than that, the Gorloks have played a very hard nonconference schedule and struggled.
The season has been rocky to this point, but the game against Westminster reminds everyone that all that matters in the end is winning conference games.
Beating Westminster by 21 was very impressive for a team selected to finish fourth this season by SLIAC coaches, especially against Westminster, the favorite to win the conference. This victory may serve as a springboard for the rest of the season for Webster.
The fact that Webster was able to beat the conference favorite has to be a confidence boost. There are several players in new roles on this year’s team for Webster. To be able to beat a supposedly superior team lets the Gorloks know they can play well in the SLIAC.
With teams that have several first-year players, it is important to show they’re heading in the right direction. By winning a big game so early in the season, the team has something to refer back to as the season progresses.
What makes this an even better boost is the degree to which the Gorloks won. The fact that the Gorloks not only beat the favorite, but won by 21 points gives notice to the rest of the conference that Webster is a squad to be reckoned with.
There were many bright points during the game. One of which was junior forward Roman Robinson’s start to the game. He came out on fire, scoring the first six points and grabbing eight rebounds in the first half. He ended the game with a double-double.
Robinson performing well is huge for the Gorloks. He has the ability to score from all over the floor. And when Robinson crashes the boards, he becomes a huge force on both ends of the court.
One of the most surprising parts of Webster’s win was how great the defense performed. It is just as surprising that Westminster couldn’t figure out the defense any better than it did.
The Gorloks always pride themselves on defense, and it showed against the Blue Jays. Skylar Tolson and Joe James are supposed to lead a solid Westminster offense. A big part in that is 3-pointers. But against Webster, Westminster missed a large number of 3s, many of which were open shots.
The Gorlok defense was also stellar in not allowing the Blue Jays to get into the paint. There were many times when Westminster would pull up for a mid-range jump shot because no one could get inside without losing the ball.
Most importantly, the defense did a great job crashing the boards for rebounds. Webster didn’t allow Westminster to get many second-chance opportunities, which is huge against a team that takes difficult outside shots.
While many great things happened, the team did give the Blue Jays a little more life than they probably should have received.
But overall, this was a great game for Webster. What the team needs to remember is there are still things that need to continue to get better. This game can become a spark for Webster, but only if the team doesn’t get ahead of itself. As long as the Gorloks continue to improve, the win over Westminster shows that the defending SLIAC champions will have a say in how the conference turns out this season.