Cold winter for Grenadiers

IU Southeast basketball teams go a combined 2-7 over winter break

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Cold winter for Grenadiers

Freshman guard Halea Petro shoots a mid range jump shot.

Freshman guard Halea Petro shoots a mid range jump shot.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Utz

Freshman guard Halea Petro shoots a mid range jump shot.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Utz

Photo courtesy of Stephen Utz

Freshman guard Halea Petro shoots a mid range jump shot.

Parker Henes, Sports Editor

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In the midst of winter break, the IU Southeast men’s and women’s basketball teams have been on campus, having practices and games to play.

The basketball teams are the only athletic teams that have their season run through a school break.

Mary Dye, senior forward for the women’s basketball team, thinks that this makes their team closer.

“Being together everyday makes us closer than most teams that take a month off from one another for Christmas,” Dye said.

The schedule is usually broken down into two sections because of the break in semesters. The first half is for teams that aren’t in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC). The second half of the schedule is strictly for conference games.

For sophomore guard Demetrius Stanton, continuing the season during winter break requires just as much focus and dedication as it does when classes are in session.

He says that being with your team for the holidays kind of makes them all brothers. Brothers looking for one thing: a conference title.

IUS Men's Basketball Schedule

IUS men’s basketball schedule

“The love of the game and your brothers being around you is what keeps you focused and going during the winter break,” Stanton said.

As for the second half of their season, Stanton said that he is excited to see what it holds.

“We are a young team,” Stanton said. “We need to learn how to finish games on top and play to win, something that we haven’t been doing much of this year.”

Both teams only played a few games against conference foes in the first part of the season. The men’s team will play only conference teams for the remainder of the season. The women’s team also plays every conference team once, but play two non-conference teams in the home games against Oakland City and Kentucky Christian.

However, the break wasn’t just full of practices and holidays. Games were also thrown in for both teams.

The men’s basketball team (5-11, 1-2 KIAC) played six games over the break. And in those six games, the Grenadiers only won one game. The first of the games that the men’s team played over the break was the game against Grace college in Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

They then lost by four to St. Catharine, followed by a blowout loss to the 19th ranked team in the NAIA, West Virginia Institute of Technology. Three days later the IU Southeast men’s basketball team lost by nine points to the fourth ranked team in the NAIA, Marion University.

Their next loss was to the Cincinnati Christian Eagles by three points. The last game of the break did go in the Grenadiers’ favor, beating conference rival Asbury by 13 points.

Head Coach of the men’s basketball team, Wiley Brown, says that this team is a team to look out for during their two month conference game streak. Brown said that his team needs to stay focused going into the important part of the season.

“This team plays hard every game,” Brown said. “It would be a shame if we don’t get an opportunity to be in the conference tournament.”

The men’s team is back in action on the second day of the spring semester, where they will travel to Alice Lloyd College.

But the men weren’t the only ones that played during the break. The IUS women’s basketball team (5-7, 2-2 KIAC) did have fewer games during their break, with only four games. However, all four of their games were conference games.

They started the break off with a blowout loss to West Virginia Institute of Technology by 29 points.

“This game was especially hard because we road the bus to West Virginia with the boys team,” Dye said.

The next game was a come from behind victory as they beat Cincinnati Christian by five points. With this win, the Grenadier women’s basketball program earned its 600th victory in program history. The overall record is now 600-528.

The most recent game during the break for the women was also at Asbury, where they lost by the same amount as the men’s team, 13 points.

The women’s team also play on the last Saturday of this winter break, Jan. 9th . It will be a road game to Midway.

IUS Woman's Basketball Schedule

IUS women’s basketball schedule

This year’s women’s team is searching for another conference tournament appearance, something they haven’t done since the 2004 season.

Head Coach Robin Farris is in the middle of his 27th season. He has been to the conference tournament just about every season he has been at IUS.

Dye said she feels like this team has a chance to make it all the way to the championship this year after a devastating loss to IU East last year in the first round of the conference tournament.

Both IUS basketball coaches have experienced the ultimate goal of a NAIA sports team.

The NAIA DII men’s and women’s basketball championships are held in the month of March, but in two different locations.

The men’s is held in Branson, Missouri, and the women’s is in Sioux City, Iowa.

According to the KIAC rankings, both teams would be seeded in the tournament, right in the middle of the pack.

“I have been to the national tournament a total of seven times,” Brown said. “We are planning to return there this season.”

It is up to the Grenadiers to determine if they can make it to the month of March.