The Stars didn’t shine Tuesday night, as Cottey College streaked past Stephens basketball to a 63-50 win.
In a frustrating performance, Stephens consistently got in its own way time after time from the very first tip.
Cottey immediately pushed toward the opposing basket after winning the jump, and within seconds Stephens fouled, sending Cottey to the line. This would set the tone for the rest of the contest, as Stephens finished the game with 24 fouls.
On the other side of the floor, the Comets’ defense crowded the lane, forcing the Stars to take bad shots away from the basket.
When Stephens couldn’t drive the ball into the paint, it would pass out and settle for a usually contested 3-point shot. Cottey forced the Stars into terrible shot selections and frustrated them from beginning to end. The tough looks led to Stephens only making 16 of its 67 field goal attempts (.238), while Cottey made 20 out of 60 (.333).
To make matters worse, Stephens made numerous mistakes that killed any momentum the team garnered in its attempts at a comeback.
On the defensive end, the Stars failed to box out on defense and allowed Cottey College to secure offensive rebounds. On offense, the Stars committed numerous turnovers, as they finished with 21 by the end of the game.
Coach Joshua Steffen emphasized the importance of rebounding.
“They defended us well and the reality is, we didn’t keep them off the glass. If you’re giving up all these extra possessions it makes it almost impossible to win,” Steffen said. ”
But Steffen doesn’t want to dwell too much on the loss. He runs his team with a one-game-at-a-time mindset.
“Obviously coming out of that there are a million things you can work on. But you got to be careful about overreacting to a bad night,” Steffen said. “We can’t play that way, our players know that.”
Stephens basketball’s next game is at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.