After winning their first two games of the year the Millersville Men’s basketball team dropped two of their next three, leaving them with a current record of 3-2 for the season.
C.W. Post and West Virginia State University each defeated the Marauders, although the team did manage to pull out a win against the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia in between the losses.
On November 22 the team headed up to Brookeville, New York where they were hosted by the 14th ranked Pioneers of C.W. Post. Millersville managed to keep the game close up to the midway point of the first half, but from there the Pioneers pulled away and eventually handed the Marauders their first loss of the season by a score of 105-65.
Junior Palmer McDurfee led the Marauders with 18 points. Senior Makal Stibbins also contributed 10 points to go with 11 rebounds, but the Marauders suffered without their star player, senior Reggie Bates, in the lineup. Bates did not play due to a coach’s decision. Instead, junior Zac Bauermaster landed the starting role in Bates’ place and did a solid job of filling in. But without their top scorer and leader on the floor, the Marauders turned the ball over 19 times, which they could not overcome in the loss.
It was the first time a team has scored 100 points on the Marauders since 2000, and the team’s worst loss in 35 years.
Millersville was able to shake off the thumping from C.W. Post and rebounded with a win against The University of the Sciences two days later. Led by Bates and Stibbins, the Marauders outlasted the Devils for a 71-58 victory. Bates did not start for the second straight game, but came off the bench to score 16 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Stibbins recorded yet another double-double and finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Marauders rode the heels of a crucial 14-4 run that lasted 2:52 early in the second half which the Devils would never be able to recover from.
Millersville faced off against West Virginia State University last Saturday and were handed their second loss of the season by a score of 86-70. Bates had a season-high 26 points and the Marauders also received 18 points from junior Jason Blake. Their strong performances were not enough to overcome the team’s poor offensive output, shooting just 34 percent from the field.
While the season is still young the Marauders are still in the process of fine tuning their roster.
“The chemistry is there, we just have to see it on the floor,” junior Alen Ahmetovic said. “We just make sure we trust each other, and trust that there is going to be that extra person behind you on defense.”
It is not going to come easy for the Marauders, who have a difficult non-conference schedule for season, but the team remains confident.
“We’re still growing and we’re still young,” Ahmetovic said. “We just have to have everyone on the same page on offense and we have to get better defensively too.”
Hopefully, for the Marauders, it is not easier said than done.