Rise to the occasion

The men’s basketball team receives contributions from all players as they enter a critical part of their regular season


Zach Brien

Nate Pierre, business sophomore, hangs on the rim after a dunk in a game against William Carey University on Feb. 21. The men’s team is pushing toward postseason play.

Kameron Hay

The men’s basketball team is nearing the end of their regular season and is looking to make a final push for the conference tournament.

The Pack (12-10, 6-8 SSAC) has endured an up and down season due to attrition,  injuries and struggles on the road.

Head Coach Stacy Hollowell said the team’s road woes have been the biggest challenge of the season for the team.

“Playing on the road in any league can be tough and that has been the case this year for us; playing in what might be the most competitive conference in the country. We have six losses on the road. That has been our biggest challenge this year,” Hollowell said.

The team has also been dealing with the knee injury of senior Robert Lovaglio, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

“Dealing with my knee has definitely been a battle. I have to be that much more focused on my recovery after games and practices,” Lovaglio said.

Even with the adversity the team has faced, Lovaglio said he has been proud of the way the team has handled themselves.

“We’ve had nagging injuries throughout the season and guys keep stepping up,” Lovaglio said.

One of them has been freshman forward Benjamin Fields, who said he attributes his growth to his teammates and coaches.

“Gaining the trust of my team and coaches has helped ease my transition onto the court. I’m glad I have been able to help contribute to the team,” Fields said.

And even though the team has had its ups and downs this season, they still remain focused on the conference tournament and potentially the national tournament.

“We have to secure a spot in the conference tournament and then it’s one game at a time from there. It would be really special to get to the national tournament,” Lovaglio said.

The Pack will face Belhaven University in their final game of the regular season in The Den on Saturday, Feb. 28.