The men’s basketball team opened their season on Tuesday night at Indiana University in South Bend. The Maple Leafs started the scoring with an impressive alley-oop from Kyle Davis, a first year, to Daniel Butler, a junior. The first two quarters of action were back and forth until IUSB ended the second quarter with a 9-1 scoring run to lead at the half 38-31.
The Leafs struggled as IUSB shot 78% from the field in the second half and nearly 56% overall. Goshen forced IUSB to commit 23 turnovers but failed to take advantage as the Maple Leafs shot a disappointing 38% from the field.
“I was extremely disappointed with our defensive intensity tonight,” said coach Gary Chupp following the loss. “For us to be good, we need to be able to lock down on the perimeter, and tonight our communication and rotations were not there. Give IUSB credit, they shot the ball extremely well and made us pay for our defensive mistakes.”
The Maple Leafs at one point fought and cut the deficit to just one point, but they could not do better than that as the IUSB Titans went on to win the game 80-70.
“As bad as we were defensively, we still had multiple opportunities late to get back in it but couldn’t get that key defensive stop when we needed it,” noted Chupp. “The positive is this was our first game, and it won’t be hard to see in our film session tomorrow where the breakdowns were defensively. We will learn from it.”
Senior Errick McCollum had a game high 21 points, including a 3-pointer late in the game that made McCollum just the second Maple Leaf to score more than 2,000 points. Eric Walsh was the first, and finished his career with 2,277 points.
“Errick is a phenomenal player,” said Chupp. “We obviously rely on him a lot and he is as good as there is in this league. He can hurt you in so many different ways.”
Goshen will host the Maple City Hoopfest starting on Friday and will play Holy Cross College that day at 8:00 p.m.