Looking at the Presidents’ Athletic Conference men’s basketball standings, it can be deceiving to look only at overall record, especially for Waynesburg.
Yes, 4-12 is their overall record, but it cannot be further from the truth to say they’re out of playoff contention. In fact, they are right in the thick of the conference championship race.
The Yellow Jackets have a 4-3 record in conference play, holding third-place along with Saint Vincent and Washington & Jefferson, both of whom the Jackets beat earlier in the season.
A tight, competitive race is currently happening in the PAC men’s basketball standings for first place, with one game separating first place from sixth place. So every game for the Yellow Jackets is critical.
Four days after a 76-64 win over Thiel, Waynesburg will be traveling to West Virginia to take on the last place Bethany Bison [1-15, 0-7]. Going into the game, the Jackets are seeking their fifth straight conference win.
Bethany is 0-7 in the PAC with a 1-15 overall record. For the Waynesburg’s seniors, however, this game means a little more, as they have never beaten the Bison.
“The seniors have never beat Saint Vincent or Bethany,” senior guard Frank Bozicevic said. “We still have Bethany to cross off the list.”
Over the last two wins against Saint Vincent and Thiel, Bozicevic has averaged a team high 23.0 points per game. In Waynesburg’s four game winning-streak, the Gateway High School alum is shooting 64% from beyond-the-arc.
As well as Bozicevic and the rest of the squad have been playing, head coach Tim Fusina knows not to take the Bison lightly.
“We are 4-12…, Fusina said. “I think they’re gaining a better understanding of what it takes to win, win on the road, win at home against a tough opponent, win when they’re not playing well.”
The defense of the Yellow Jackets has been the highlight to their success with which Fusina has been very pleased.
“We’re defending,” he said, “which means that we’re going to give ourselves a shot every night.”
Over the course of its last three games, Waynesburg has limited opponents to 70 points or fewer.
If you ask the coaches and players who have been key to the win streak, the answer will not be one or two players, but several.
Each player has been doing their parts and contributing to the success of the team. One man that has stood out, however, has been Cam Auld, who has been playing significant amounts of minutes for the Jackets.
“[We] can’t take him off the floor right now.” Fusina said.
Bozicevic agreed with his head coach, and said that Auld, who averages just 3.3 points per game, has an impact that’s felt far beyond the box score.
“The stats may not show up with him,” Bozicevic said, “(but) Cam does a lot of the intangible things to help us win games.”
Along with players like Ryan Felberg, Isaiah Alonzo, Brennan Smith, Sam Heeter, and Briston Bennett, the minutes produced on the floor by these gentlemen have helped Waynesburg in its recent success.
The Jackets hope to continue in a positive trajectory. Bozicevic said to do this, Waynesburg needs to continue to play as they have and do so in a confident, but not arrogant way.
“If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” Bozicevic said. “We’ve got to stay level headed because we know from previous seasons, anything can happen in the PAC.”