Tori Foster, Staff Writer
Chaifetz Arena-The University of Missouri–St. Louis Tritons tipped off the 2018-19 men’s basketball season facing their first opponent, the Saint Louis University Billikens at the exhibition.
The first half started off slow for the Tritons, but once the clock hit eight minutes guard #2 Shane Wissink, sophomore, business, shot three 3-pointers with an assist from guard #10 Johnathan Matthews, senior, communications. With 30 seconds on the clock, Matthews ended the half with a fast-break making a 3-pointer shot that left the Tritons with 21 points.
The first quarter of the game ended with Tritons 21 and Billikens 31.
Entering the second half, it was another slow start for the Tritons, but Matthew got the energy flowing for the Tritons when he hit a jumper that was assisted by guard #11 Ronnie Carson, junior, sports marketing and special education. Next, Matthews had a good 3-pointer with an assist from forward #1 Jason Towery, junior, communications, following guard #23 Steve Webb’s, freshman, software engineering, fast-break against the Billikens. The energy was very high for the Tritons and they kept pushing to end the game strong. Both Carson and guard #5 Kenny Berry, sophomore, business, shot and made their free throws. While the clock ran to two minutes, Carson hit a 3-pointer to end the second half of the game.
In the second half of the game the Tritons scored 28 points and the Billikens scored 40. The final score was Tritons 49 and Billikens 71.
Wissink finished the game with 14 points, 11 of those points came from the first half of the game. Matthew scored a total of 14 points. The teams shooting percentage was a 36.4 since the Billikens took advantage of the 28 turnovers UMSL had and scored 32 points.
Bob Sundvold, the head coach for the men’s basketball team, is entering his sixth year of being the head coach for the men’s basketball team here at UMSL.
After having the first game, Sundvold expressed, “The exhibition was great because it got our guys on the court.”
The 2018-19 basketball team consists of returning players, but also a lot of new talent. Sundvold’s motivation for coaching is not to just teach his players basketball skill and strategies, but to teach them life skills ranging from time management to how to deal with harassment. So far, he has brought in at least four guest speakers to speak to the team this season.
Sundvold says his plan for this season, “is to have a successful season and to play in the postseason at the GLVC, it involves in trying to get into the NCAA tournament.” He truly believes his players impacted his life as much as he impacts theirs.
The UMSL Tritons men’s basketball team may have started off rough with a loss against the SLU’s Billikens, but the Tritons will come back for the win next game.
This upcoming week they have two home games at UMSL’s Mark Twain Building, the first one is Monday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. The Tritons will be facing the Webster University Gorloks and the second game is being held Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. and they are set to play against the Missouri Southern State University Roary.
During fall break, UMSL is hosting their annual Thanksgiving classic from Friday, Nov. 23 to 24. The two-day tournament will include Maryville, Central Missouri and Missouri Western. We have a great season ahead of us, go Tritons!