Read for a preview of the Gorloks’ first round matchup against the No. 1 seed…
Men’s basketball prepares for showdown with Spalding
After edging out a 81-76 win in overtime against Greenville College (Ill.) on Saturday, Feb. 2, the Gorloks weren’t given a chance to continue their momentum on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The scheduled game was canceled because winless Principia College (Ill.) did not have enough players for the game to participate.
Principia has only seven players on its roster — two of the athletes for the Panthers are ill with the flu, while another is out with an injury — leaving them with only four players. Coach Chris Bunch said the game will be made up sometime within the next two weeks.
Senior forward Roman Robinson said he looked forward to the game.
“I was hoping to play them (Principia) just to get us prepared for Spalding (University) (Ky.), so it kind of was like, ‘Ah, man’ but if they’re injured and sick, we can’t really do too much,” Robinson said.
Bunch said he didn’t look at the Principia game as a tune-up because he tries to get his players to focus on one game at a time.
“Obviously, we were excited about playing tonight’s game just like we are any game,” Bunch said. “It’s kind of a weird occurrence (that) doesn’t happen very often, but we’ll practice tomorrow and get ready for Spalding on Thursday.”
The Spalding University Golden Eagles are currently at the top of St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings. They are currently 14-7 overall this season and have only one SLIAC loss to this point.
Bunch thinks his team has played better the last month — winning six of its last seven games — but in order to be successful against Spalding, the Gorloks will need to rebound the ball well. Robinson is currently fifth in the SLIAC with 125 total rebounds. The Golden Eagles are statistically the best defensive team in the conference allowing 65.7 points per game, and are No. 1 in PPG with 85.
“They have a lot of consistency on the team,” Robinson said. “I think that every team is beatable. Once you keep winning and winning, people are kind of afraid to play you before you even play, so that helps them to win the game. There is a lot of intimidation there.”
The last time Webster played Spalding on the road this season, it started off as a close game, with the Gorloks only down by 2 points at halftime. But the second half got away from them, and they lost the game 79-49.
Sophomore guard Danny Zehner said he believes the Gorloks can beat Spalding because Webster beat Eureka College (Ill.), and Eureka beat Spalding.
Greenville was able to make a last second shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime on Feb. 2. Webster was up by 16 points at half but fell apart in the second half. The Panthers took it to the Gorloks after halftime as the defense broke down and allowed Greenville to score 40 points.
Robinson thinks Webster should have not let the game get out of hand.
“That kind of was a negative because that game shouldn’t have even been that close,” Robinson said. “We just got slipped up on defense, and got too lax with where we were and everything.”
But the Gorloks did have some good fortune in the conference standings despite not being able to play against Principia. Webster is fourth in the SLIAC with an 8-4 conference record, and the top four teams advance to the conference tournament after the regular season ends.
“I know that the team that we were tied with — they lost — so now it’s a two-way tie instead of three,” Zehner said. “So it gives us a better chance to win the tournament.”
Webster has a 10-10 overall record on the season and will host Spalding on Thursday, Feb. 7 at Grant Gymnasium at 8 p.m.