Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The Tigers closed out their exhibition game with a 104-78 point loss to NCAA II Lake Superior State University. Although it was a loss, Coach Gary Bailey saw what he needed to see from his young squad. “Lake State is a very good team and we were able to get a good test of where we are and where we need to be,” said the Tiger Head Coach. “We set out a game plan tonight and one of our goals was to play everyone in the game to work out some jitters of playing a big school and an away game. We played 15 players in the first half, played a bunch of defenses and ran a quite a few of our sets to see how we would do against a tough defense. We accomplished our learning goals in the first half and dug a pretty big hole.” The Tigers found themselves down at the half 59-28.
In the second half, the young Tigers came out strong and played more aggressive. “At he half, we had 20 turnovers and didn’t shoot well. We decided we would play to win the second half and clean up our mistakes from the first half,” said Bailey. The Tigers did just that. The Tigers outscored the Lakers 50-45 in the second half behind an amazing run at the free throw line. The Tiger went to the line often, making 30 of 33 attempts (91%).
“Overall, I was pleased with what we learned tonight,” said Bailey. “We cannot give up 104 points and expect to win a game but the guys are learning our style of defense which means a lot of man, zone, match up zones, and a few gimmicks. It is always difficult for new players to catch on right away. Once we get some understandings about how we are to play we might give some teams some problems later in the year. Right now, we still have a lot to learn but I am optimistic.”
The Tigers shot 36.4% for the game compared to LSSU at 52.8% The Tigers also held the rebounding advantage on both offensive and defensive rebounding by a 46-36 margin. Grace was led by Zach Schutte’s 20 points and 11 rebounds. Travis Rader had 11 points as did Nick Mascorro. BJ VanLoo pulled down 6 rebounds and Aaron Schutte 5.
The Tigers open their 2012-13 season on Monday, October 29th at NAIA preseason #11, Davenport University at 7:00pm. The game will be aired live on the Davenport Athletic Network and also on the radio on WBBL 107.3 FM.