Basketball teams face rough starts

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Senior Isiah Sykes pulls up for a jumper for the Tigers. Both the men's and women's teams have struggled so far in the season with both being winless in GPAC conference play. The men are 2-7 overall, while the women are 0-5 overall. Both teams will host Morningside Nov. 20, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The Doane men’s and women’s basketball teams are off to a rough start in Great Plains Athletic Conference play after each losing both of their opening games by double digits.

The Tigers hosted Hastings College and the University of Jamestown last week. On the men’s side, the Hastings Broncos won 78-66 while the Jamestown Jimmies won 97-71. For the women, the Broncos dominated 107-55 and the Jimmies won 78-56.

For the men, the GPAC opener against Hastings was lost due to a strong-shooting first half from the Broncos according to Doane Athletics. In the second half, the Tigers were able to pull within three points at one time during the match, but the Broncos would extend that lead with back-to-back 3-pointers to extend their lead again. On the night, four Tigers hit double figures in points while the Broncos had five players hit that mark. 

The men’s second loss came at the hands of the 16th-ranked Jimmies. The Jimmies are ranked 16 after receiving 152 points in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division II based on a preseason coach’s poll. According to the NAIA, a team receives 30 points for a first-place vote, 29 for second place and so on. 

Again the Tigers faced a strong opponent in Jamestown as Doane went into the halftime break down 63-28 after the Jimmies shot 75-percent. Doane would continue to fight in the second half and outscored the visitors 43-34 in the final half. The Tigers were able to hold the Jimmies to 36-percent shooting in the second half, but the opening half lead was too much to overcome as they ended up falling to the visitors by a total 26 points.

For the women, the GPAC opening loss was against the 16 ranked Broncos. The Broncos are ranked from a similar poll to the men’s side.

According to Doane Athletics, Hastings used a full-court press to create a 45-13 lead in the first half, with 20 points coming on fast breaks and turnovers. By the end of the game, the Broncos shot 53-percent from the field and the Tigers were held to 36-percent. Doane had two players finish in double figures for points while Hastings had three players accomplish the feat.

The Tiger’s second loss came after shooting 31-percent from the field against the Jimmies, the second-worst shooting percentage for the Tigers during the season. The bright spot on the night was junior Haylee Heits who posted a double-double after scoring 19 points and securing 10 rebounds. 

The men’s team is now 2-7 overall and 0-2 in the conference, with the women’s side 0-5 and 0-2 respectively.

Both Tiger teams will be back in action again this week with a home match against Morningside College on Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. They will also play two away matches in South Dakota against Presentation College and Dakota State University. Morningside is ranked 4 and 19 nationally on the men’s and women’s side respectively.