The new look men’s basketball team started the season off with a 78-56 loss in an exhibition game against University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL). After losing their first regular season game against Tufts University, their first win of the season came against Wabash University.
Webster University ended the first half trailing Wabash 51–42. The second half was a back and forth game that included several lead changes and key plays made by both teams.
Sophomore guard Josh Johnson led the team’s comeback efforts and finished the game with 18 points. Webster forced the game into overtime and won 93–91.
Head coach Chris Bunch played eight of his 11 freshmen in the game, and he said managing which freshmen will receive substantial playing time will be a game-by-game decision.
Bunch said playing time will fluctuate from game to game, given the amount of freshmen on the team.
“You always have to stay ready,” Bunch said. “Some freshmen that don’t play right away tend to get discouraged and say ‘I’m just going to transfer ‘, but I try to tell them that they’re just one injury away or one player transferring away from getting their chance.”
After their first win against Wabash, the team went on to lose three of their next four games, which included an 84-55 loss to Westminster College.
Sophomore forward Enrique Tankins said moving ahead the older players have to put an emphasis on setting the tone and bringing intensity to practices and games so the freshmen can follow suit.
“We’re the leaders of the team, so we have to lead them to make better decisions and make better plays,” Tankins said. “Sometimes in practice we don’t work as hard so we have to work harder than them. We have to bust their butts so they can bust our butts, and that’ll make us all better.”
The team got back on track after winning a close game against Principia College, which gives Webster an overall record of 3-4.