This season has had its share of plenty of peaks and valleys for the Delta State University Statesmen.
The Statesmen, at the moment, are going through a valley as they lost to the Union University Bulldogs 68-53 Thursday and lost to the Christian Brothers University Buccaneers 67-58 Saturday in Gulf South Conference action at the Lloyd Clark Court at the Walter Sillers Coliseum.
The Statesmen have lost four in a row and have fallen to 7-10 overall with a 3-6 mark in the GSC.
Against Union, the Statesmen led 21-13 with 8:50 to go in the first half, but the Bulldogs went on a 26-7 run that extended into the second half to take a 39-28 lead with 16:52 left to play in the contest. DSU couldn’t recover. The Statesmen turned the ball over just nine times, but the Bulldogs turned it over only six times. The Statesmen shot just 32.8 percent (20-of-61) from the floor.
Against Christian Brothers, the Statesmen led 31-26 at halftime and led 36-30 with 17:12 left to play, but the Buccaneers went on a 10-0 run to take a 40-36 lead with 14:29 left in the contest. The Statesmen fought back to regain the lead at 53-52, but the Buccaneers went on a 15-5 run to close out the game. The Statesmen turned the ball over 15 times, while the Buccaneers turned it over just eight times.
“It’s a common thread with struggling teams, but most games you look at there’s a four or five-minute stretch where you go that’s where we lost it,” Statesmen men’s basketball head coach Mike Nienaber said. “When we’re watching the film we watch three and a half to four minutes where the game went from a two or three-point game to a 14-point game. Then the rest of the night we play even, but we’re struggling offensively and a lot of the times it’s the turnovers and things like that. Those turnovers wind up banging us up on the other end too.”
Against Union, Airen Brooks led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds, followed by Anderson McCoy with 10 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Against Christian Brothers, Keyshaun Street led the Statesmen with 21 points, two assists, two rebounds and a steal, followed by McCoy with 10 points, four assists and two rebounds and Brooks with nine points and 10 rebounds.
DSU will return to the court Thursday as the team will play the University of Alabama-Huntsville in Huntsville, Ala. at 7:30 p.m. in GSC play.