Joi Moore, Sports Writer
The Samford men’s basketball team will host The Citadel for Senior Night this Saturday. This will be the Bulldogs’ final home game of the season.
The Samford men’s basketball team picked up an 80-61 home victory over Virginia Military Institute on Saturday, Feb. 18. The win moved the Bulldogs (16-12) to 7-8 in the Southern Conference and ended a four-game skid. Samford hadn’t collected a conference win since its triumph over Western Carolina on Feb. 2.
The Bulldogs have been taking some time to grow from their four-game losing streak, which included two losses by four points or less. Samford fell to Wofford in quadruple overtime, 131-127, on Feb. 9, and to East Tennessee State, 79-77, on Feb. 15.
“We still need to work on closing out games defensively and rebounding if we want to be successful going into postseason play,” said redshirt junior guard Alex Thompson.
Closing games has been a struggle for the Bulldogs throughout the season. However, they must learn how to finish as strong as they start if they plan on being a SoCon contender. With a game against The Citadel approaching this week, head coach Scott Padgett has been stressing defense more than anything.
“Defense is definitely a big focus of ours,” said sophomore center Wyatt Walker. “Lack of defense is what keeps us from closing out games, so that’s definitely something we need to work on as a team.”
Samford has also developed a press that has been its bread and butter throughout the season. It will need to be effective if the Bulldogs hope to slow down a hungry Citadel team this weekend. The Citadel will be looking for redemption after Samford won the teams’ first meeting in a high-scoring shootout, 98-90.
Tipoff at the Pete Hanna Center is slated for Saturday at 6 p.m. Samford will honor its lone senior, graduate transfer Terry Brutus, for Senior Night.
The game can be live streamed on ESPN3 or listened to on 99.1 The Game.