Jackets drop conference opener at Grove City

The box score tells you that Wednesday’s game at Grove City was a tale of two halves for the Waynesburg University men’s basketball team. 

After the first 20 minutes, the Jackets [0-8, 0-1] were down by nine. They ended up losing their Presidents’ Athletic Conference opener by 28, 73-45.

As different as the first and second half look on paper, Waynesburg coach Tim Fusina thought the two halves were more similar than what the scoreboard said. 

“[I’m] not really sure there was a difference in the first or second half,” he said. “We turned the ball over too many times in both halves and allowed them to drive it the entire night. We have struggled to score this year, so when we turn it over at the rate we are, we are putting ourselves in a really bad spot. We sometimes struggle to guard the ball and they exposed some of our deficiencies over the course of forty minutes.”

Indeed, the Yellow Jackets had a hard time keeping possession of the ball, turning it over 16 times in the first half and 12 in the second. Waynesburg also struggled to score, shooting just 39.5% on the night. The only Yellow Jacket to hit double figures was Frank Bozicevic, who finished with 13 points. 

Bozicevic  cited turnovers as a major problem not just Wednesday, but for the whole season as well. 

“Obviously, the turnovers were a big issue,” Bozicevic said. “So far, it’s always been taking care of the ball and not defending have been our issues.”

Grove City [3-5, 1-0] shot 53% from the field, led by James Wells, who scored a game high 20 points. Nate Peters, [16 points] Justin Rice and Erik Meiners [10 points each] also broke double figures.

Now 0-8 with all eight losses coming by double-digit margins, Waynesburg has a lot of work to do to turn it’s season around. For Fusina, that labor starts with the basics. 

“We know what we need to address,” he said. “We need to be better at the basic fundamentals of basketball, [such as] getting open, passing and catching. Defensively, we need to guard the ball better.”

Waynesburg will next be in action today against Chatham. Tipoff is at 2.

“What we can do is keep teaching the way we want to play and not deviate,” Fusina said. “It’s easy to panic and think you need to change everything, but we aren’t going to do that. We will get better and improve playing our system.”