A tough stretch of games early in the season has the Bridgewater State University men’s basketball searching for a win.
The Bears are 1-3, but all three of their losses were by eight points.
“We have instances where we look very good for periods of time,” said Bridgewater State head coach Joe Farroba. “Then there are other times when we are not playing real well, and given the schedule we are playing, if you play like that, that’s what happens, you lose.
“The good thing is the kid’s have shown good fight. They have been resilient. If we have been down, we fight back and get back into it.”
Right now, Farroba believes the team just needs to secure a win for the sake of confidence.
“Hopefully, you play that schedule with the idea that it is going to make us tougher,” Farroba said. “But I know and you know, winning breeds confidence and we need to get some Ws and get some confidence.”
The Bears only win of the season thus far came two weeks ago versus the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 61-49. The win marked Farroba’s 300th as head coach.
The Bridgewater State defense had a strong showing against the Engineers, as they only allowed MIT to shoot 16.7 percent from the floor in the second half.
“That’s what we need every night, the effort that we had there,” said junior forward Kyle Gibson. “We showed that we can do it. It just needs to happen every single night.”
After the win over MIT, the Bears suffered a setback with a 76-68 loss to Rhode Island College. Despite the loss, the Bears saw their big men in Gibson and junior forward Michael Lofton perform well.
Through four games, Lofton and Gibson have carried the offensive load. Lofton, who is the go-to scorer for the team, said it has been a tough transition moving to a score-first mentality.
“Coach wants me to be aggressive,” said Lofton who this week earned Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Co-Player of the Week honors. “He wants me to take more shots. He still wants me to take more shots than what I do. I’m just being more aggressive and trying to help my team out early. I feel as though once I am aggressive that makes everybody else aggressive.”
Gibson’s play has come somewhat as a surprise after only averaging 8.8 points per game last year. This season, Gibson has contributed right away with 15.3 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game.
“It’s been a good year so far,” Gibson said. “Just letting the game come to me and play within the system and play in what coach tells me to do. Really not forcing anything, just playing consistent.”
The Bears tough nonconference schedule continues when they take on the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth Thursday. The Bears are hoping that by facing formidable opponents, it will help them prepare for their conference games which start in a month.
But the Bears are not focused on what is down the road, instead they are intent on looking at what is right in front of them.
“Our mentality is to take one game at a time,” Lofton said. “We have UMass Dartmouth on Thursday and I know it is going to be a great game. We are going to have to battle. We are going to have to gut through it. It is not going to be an easy game and hopefully come out with the win.”
The Bears will travel to face the Corsairs Thursday at 7 p.m. before they come home to host Wheaton College on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Greg Dudek is The Comment’s Editor-In-Chief. Follow him on Twitter at gdudek10 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.