Caleb Bailey, Sports Editor
The 2015-16 Armstrong Pirate basketball seasons have not gone as well as the teams were expecting. Both teams have had a rough go of things as they looked to make it back to the NCAA Tournament.
For the women, their season certainly began in a big way as they won their first 8 games of the year. However, since that start, the team has lost 7 of their last 9 games, bringing their record in the Peach Belt Conference to 2-6.
The 7 losses have come by an average of 12.4 points per game. This has been a struggle for the Pirates as they have shot .412 percent from the field and .277 percent from beyond the three-point line.
“We just have to finish strong with the conference games that are left to move up in the standings and have a chance to play in the national tournament,” junior guard Deundria Clark said. “I think we have all the right pieces to get it done, we just have to physically and mentally come together.”
For the men’s team, their struggles began early in the season when they started off 0-4 in November. The Pirates seemed to turn things around after the inauspicious start, winning four of their next six games, including a three game win streak to close the year and into early January.
However, since that run, the Pirates have lost four of their last five games to bring their record to 5-10 and 3-5 in the PBC. They have shot 42.7% from the field during that run.
It certainly seems like the Pirates have a chance to make a run as they are fourth in the conference standings and just three games back of first place.
“It’s a mindset for us,” senior forward Marcus Hopper said. “We have lost our last three games, but everybody on our team knows how hard it is to win. On any given night, anybody on our team can play well. We just have to continue to play as a team and keep doing the little things in order for us to be successful and make it to the tournament.”
The women’s and men’s teams each earned a much-needed victory on Monday, January 18 over Georgia Southwestern. The women won 69-62 and the men won 106-100 in triple overtime, the longest game ever played in Alumni Arena.
Both teams next play the Lander Bearcats on Saturday, Jan. 23, for Military Appreciation Day. The women will play at 1:30 p.m., with the men to follow.