Uphill Battle Starts Men's Basketball Season

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Baruch College, NEW YORK -- Turnovers, frustration and exhaustion describe the first game of the season for The King’s College Men’s Basketball team. King’s took to the court early on Sunday morning, Nov. 6, to face off against Touro College's New York School of Career and Applied Studies. Despite multiple scoreboard errors, King’s lead at halftime 39-36. However, even though King’s had the lead, they were not satisfied.

“It seemed that we couldn’t get a big lead in the first half. We missed a lot of open shots and gave up too many easy baskets” said forward Nathan Rizzutti ('19), who marked his collegiate debut with 6 points and 4 boards.

At the start of the second half, King’s could not extend their lead and NYSCAS soon took control of the game by hitting four three-pointers in the span of four minutes.

Forward #24 James Brooks ('17) goes up against NYSCAS (Photo Credit: Michael Sheetz)

NYSCAS’ lead increased with one thing blatantly present: the entire King’s team was exhausted. The exhaustion led to sloppy defense and quick NYSCAS baskets which ultimately sealed away a 93-83 win -- a disputable margin due to further scorekeeping errors. 

“Our defense let us down,” Assistant Coach Nick Swedick said. “Guys kept reaching and trying to get steals rather than moving their body which let [NYSCAS] get open layups and wide open threes.”

Swedick was right on the money as, down the stretch, King’s attempts to get a quick steal near mid-court let NYSCAS get around and dump the ball down low to a wide open player.

“It was tough playing a game early on a Sunday when we had basketball competition on Saturday evening. We were exhausted,” forward James Brooks ('17) stated.

Multiple King’s players echoed that they were exhausted following the game.

“It wasn’t helpful that we had basketball competition the night before our first game of the season," guard Jake Staples ('20) added. 

Even though King’s lost its season opener, there were a few bright spots. New head coach Bill Mangarelli looked confident in his new role and seemed to be a favorite among the players. Additionally, guards Trivette Knowles ('18) and Jonathan Stevens ('20) had a stellar opening game with 21 and 29 points, respectively.

If King’s can get rested, work on playing lock-down defense, and build familiarity on the court, do not be surprised to see King’s momentum increase into team to reckon with this season. Next up for the Lions is Five Towns College on Friday, November 11th where they will look to improve upon their opening loss to NYSCAS.

CampusJoshua Sampson