As Samford men’s and women’s basketball pick up conference play, the men’s side is having one of their best seasons in history. The ladies continue to be in the middle of the pack.
Earlier this season, men’s basketball went on their longest winning streak in school history with 17 straight wins after starting the season with two consecutive defeats. This streak ended against Furman in a tough ten-point loss on the road. Samford will get to play Furman again at home on Feb. 21. Samford basketball guard Rylan Jones is committed to getting the winning streak back.
“Every day matters, every practice and every game, trying to get better and better each day. You cannot take any games for granted in conference play; every team can beat you on any given day,” said Jones.
The men’s team has been successful on the offensive side of the ball with fast-paced plays, a scrappy defense that leads to turnovers and transition points and a high three-point percentage. Since its loss to Furman, the team has been on a three-game win streak. The Bulldogs won their most recent game against Chattanooga in blowout fashion on the road.
With Jermaine Marshall recently returning from injury, Samford has seen significant boosts from Achor and AJ Staton-McCray in his absence. Achor is averaging 15.8 points per game, and Staton-McCray averages 12.8 points per game.
“Champions always answer, and our goal is to win a championship, so we needed to answer after our poor showing. [It] just speaks to the determination and competitiveness of our group,” said Jones.
The women’s basketball team has had a slow start this year, starting the season 11-11 with seven games left in the regular season. If the women’s team makes a push in the next seven games against conference opponents, they could set themselves up nicely for the SoCon tournament.
This iteration of the women’s team has a lot of depth in the guard position. Scrappy on defense, like the men’s team, they average about seven steals and four blocks a game. Coach Carley Kuhns commented on the loss against Mercer in a post-game press conference.
“Credit to [Mercer]; they played hard, but we have got to find a way to get better.”