Basketball starts season in South Dakota

Story by David Heiling, Sports Editor

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The mens basketball team’s first competition of the season did not go according to plan as they opened up their season with an exhibition game against the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.).

The team lost the contest 75-49 to the Cougars, but coach Matt Siverling does not think the loss is a big deal, and instead was a valuable learning tool for the team.

“One of the reasons we wanted to play an exhibition game this early was to see where our team was at at this point of time,” Siverling said. “I think we learned a lot about who we are right now and what we can work on.”

All players that made the trip got to see the floor for a portion of the game, but no player scored in double digits in the team’s first action since last season.

Senior guard Jordan Petersen led the team in scoring with nine points, adding five rebounds in 34 minutes of playing time, while Sioux Falls was led by redshirt senior center James Rader who scored 15 points and contributed eight rebounds to his game’s resume.

The Blugolds got off to a slow start, not able to make many shots and the score was 30-15 at the half.

Senior forward Andy Kleist said he wasn’t disappointed in the team’s effort overall.

“The scoreboard looks ugly when you look at it at the end, Kleist said. “We wanted to come in there and win, we couldn’t do it, but we did some good things out there.”

The team is under instruction from the third head coach in as many years, something the players are still getting used to. Coach Siverling’s style is a little less restrictive than Coach Kyle Green’s regime of last year.

“It’s definitely been a transition,” Kleist said. “Coach Green was more into running set plays whereas Siverling runs a motion and has us (the players) dictate what happens on the floor more often.”

The Blugolds first regular season game is against Emmaus (Iowa) and will be held on the campus of UW-Platteville at the UW-Platteville Classic Nov. 16.

Coach Siverling said between now and then, the team has things to work on.

“Sioux Falls played a different defense than we play in practice, we’ve had a chance to go into the film room and see what we need to work on,” Siverling said. “So far, we have been able to do work on those spots we have to improve on and it is going well.”

The team has another exhibition game against University of St. Thomas (Minn.) before they open up games that will count for their overall record on the season.

The team has had successes in the past and Kleist thinks that it will give the team good experience and the team will be looking good come the beginning of the season.

“This Friday we have St. Thomas, they are a really good team,” Kleist said. “That will be a very good warm-up tool for us. Come game time we should be looking really sharp and ready to get out there and get some wins.”


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