The Bears opened with a rigorous non-conference schedule and key injuries, leading to an 0-6 start to the season for Joe Farroba’s Bears. Entering MASCAC conference play, the Bears are now 9-13 (as of Feb. 18) and clawing their way back to have a great conference record, of 6-4.
The Bears will look to make a final push with two games left on the regular season schedule as the team travels to Framingham State Wednesday and wraps up with Senior Day here at BSU next Saturday against Worcester State with another 3 pm tip off. The team will be celebrating seniors Ryan Carney (Easton, MA), Dimitri St. Louis (Brockton, MA), and Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, NC) for their great four years. Since Jan. 14th the Bears have won five of their last eight which has turned the season around. Solid bench play and constant scoring are the formula for the team’s success, as they look to gain some momentum with March around the corner.
Injuries are a consistent problem for the Bears, but the team has responded positively. Coach Farroba revealed that sophomore Jose Monterio (Brockton, MA) is dealing with a nagging ankle injury and is expected to miss the next two games. Farroba praised the importance of bench depth and scoring. “It’s like we bring in the bench guys and the team doesn’t miss a beat,” he said. He also addressed a rebounding issue, preaching how most of the losses have come over three or four possessions down the stretch.
The league schedule is unpredictable with teams like Fitchburg State, Salem State, and Framingham State displaying the ability to win on any given night. The Bears stumbled in two losses against Westfield State this season. The team was heavily outsized and struggled to rebound in a 99-71 road loss.
Now three months into the 2019-2020 season, staying fresh and creating new sparks of energy for the team is Farroba’s priority. During practices and game weeks, Coach tries to limit the team to 10-minute intervals of hard conditioning with breaks in between. The team practice for no longer than an hour-and-a-half, while an extra half-hour at the end of practice is reserved for personalized work with other players and coaches. “It’s good to see the guys work on their own game as they all know what they can improve on,” the coach remarked.
On Feb. 15, the Bears completed a quality 88-66 home win over Fitchburg State. The “big three” of Carney, Ward, and St. Louis was the story of the game. Ryan Carney returned from injury with a game-high 23 points, while Rayshon Ward tapped in with 20 points of his own. Dimitri St. Louis added 15 points with two steals and four blocks as well. Bridgewater State basketball prepares for its final opponents of the regular season, Framingham State on Feb. 19, and Senior Day against Worcester State on Feb. 22 at Tinsley Center. Down the stretch, it is exciting to see where the team will finish with the March postseason right around the corner. The Bears ask for the support of the campus while they hope to earn Joe Farroba’s 400th victory as coach of the Bears.