The IUS men’s basketball team defeated the St. Louis College of Pharmacy in the first round of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament 88-35 on Feb. 23, in the Activities Building, improving their record to 23-4 on the season.
The win advanced the Grenadiers to the semi-finals of the tournament.
Josh Lowery, senior guard, led the Grenadiers with 18 points, five assists and five rebounds.
In the first half, the Grenadiers shot 68 percent from the 3-point line, making 11 out of 16 3-point attempts.
Less than five minutes into the game the Grenadiers shot out to an early 23-3 lead and held the Eutectics to just three points for the first eight minutes of the game.
“Our pressure affects a lot of teams in our conference, and they can’t really handle it,” Craig Bryant, IUS senior guard, said.
The Grenadiers out-rebounded the Eutectics 41 to 26 for the game. Leading the way with 11 rebounds was Josh Thomas, freshman center.
“Defense is most important because defense wins championships,” Carlos Mitchell, IUS senior guard, said. “Gelling together as a team, sharing the ball and rebounding will be the keys for us to continue to win.”
In the first half, the Grenadiers shot 76 percent and held the Eutectics just 17 percent.
“We shot the ball really well tonight,” Grenadiers head coach Wiley Brown said. “We got a chance to rest our starters for our game against Asbury on Friday night.”
The IUS starters were taken out less than five minutes into the game after jumping out to an early 25-3 lead.
“Tonight we got some guys playing time who normally don’t get to play as much,” Lowery said. “It was a good tune-up game for us to get ready from some real tough games on Friday and Saturday.”
Alex Gravelle, senior guard, came off the bench adding 17 points, six rebounds and three assists to the Grenadier’s commanding win.
“We are a confident team with confident coaches and players,” Gravelle said. “But we are taking it one game at a time because we know that it is tournament time, and one loss and you’re done.”
Jazzmarr Ferguson, junior guard, started the Grenadier’s second half off to a fast start with a 3-pointer at the 18:34 mark, pushing the Grenadier’s lead to 70-13.
“We needed to handle business early tonight so we can prepare for our game against Asbury, and that’s what we did,”
Brown was happy with his team’s performance and certain players who stepped up big during the game.
“Tonight’s game I was very pleased with Josh Lowery,” Brown said. “Josh is always going to get in the game because he can shoot with range and accuracy, and he is very confident.”
All of Lowery’s 18 points came from beyond the 3-point arc.
Following their easy victory over the Eutectics, the Grenadiers looked forward to their semi-final matchup with Asbury.
“Asbury has great shooters and we have to guard the 3-point line,” Brown said. “Any time you play with a small line up, everyone has to rebound. We have to focus on our defense and rebounding against Asbury.”
The Grenadiers defeated Asbury twice in the regular season, 84-55 on Jan. 23, and most recently on Feb. 13, 101-67. However, the Grenadiers are not overlooking any opponents.
“Asbury plays us tough, and we are really excited about the game,” Lowery said. “We have to come out focused and ready to play, and hopefully we can come out victorious.”
The veteran team of Grenadiers is confident their experience will help them win against their opponents during the tournament.
“We have a veteran team, and we have played a tough schedule,” Brown, said. “We always take it one game at a time, and we are looking forward to playing Asbury, then we will go from there.”