Despite the team’s struggle with turnovers, Yante Maten led the Bulldogs in an impressive fashion with his efforts in the team’s 68-65 win over the Texas A&M Corpus-Christi Islanders.
The Bulldogs had their worst game of the season in terms of turnovers as they gave away the ball 24 times. It was a sloppy game overall for both offenses as both teams had 19+ turnovers and neither team was able to overcome their turnover struggles. Coach Mark Fox was less than pleased with his team’s showing in a careless performance.
“I wasn’t pleased with how we played, I wasn’t pleased with how we coached and I wasn’t pleased with a lot of things. But I was happy that in a close contest that we responded,” said Fox. “We’re turning the ball over like crazy. That has to change. Our turnover count has got to come down.”
Maten’s Double-Double Streak
There were some positives for the Bulldogs and Yante Maten was a big part of the positives. Maten has earned a double-double in each of the Bulldogs games this season and he continued that streak as he finished this game with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Maten also had an impressive defensive game as he finished with 2 steals.
Although Maten shined in this game, he was one of the main players who struggled with turnovers for the Bulldogs as he led the team in the category with 7, so he will definitely need to find a way to get the turnover numbers down.
First Half Defensive Dominance
The Bulldogs earned the lead at the 19:46 mark in the first quarter and their stingy defense allowed them to keep that lead for the remainder of the game. The Bulldogs forced 19 turnovers, with 9 steals and 8 blocks. The Bulldogs defensive efforts played a huge role in overcoming the team’s struggles on offense, which seemed out of sync for the majority of the night.
Hammonds Continues to Shine
Rayshaun Hammonds has been very impressive in the first three games of his young Bulldogs’ career and for the third straight game, Hammonds recorded a double-digit point total with 15. Hammonds also finished with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Hammonds has definitely helped alleviate some of the loss of scoring that the Bulldogs may have had with the graduation of point guard J.J. Frazier and he should be a critical piece for the team’s success moving forward.
Back to Full Strength
Jordan Harris returned in this game and although he did not play a large number of minutes, he should begin to see his role increase as he continues to work back from his bone chip injury. Harris played 10 minutes and scored 7 points while also recording a rebound. He still has a way to go before being back to one-hundred percent but he should give the Bulldogs another much-needed scoring option.
This win was definitely not a great one, but the Bulldogs can definitely learn from this game and find ways to improve on their deficiencies.
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