Shooting struggles doom men’s team against Chatham

Fans filtered into the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse on Wednesday night expecting to see the leading scorer in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, Will Sandherr of the Chatham Cougars, on display. Upon arrival, however, everybody quickly learned he’d be out for the game with an injury.

However, there wasn’t much concern for his absence on Waynesburg’s side.

“Cam Auld guarded his replacement,” Fusina said.

Although Auld had maybe the best game of his college career, ending with 13 rebounds, the Yellow Jackets called collectively. 

Sandherr missing the game didn’t prove to necessarily help Waynesburg, [4-15, 4-6], however, as the Jackets dropped their third game in a row, falling to the Chatham Cougars [11-6, 6-3], 56-42 for the second time this season.

The Yellow Jackets opened the game on a 10-0 run in the first four and a half minutes, but Chatham fought back throughout the last 15 minutes of the first half.

Waynesburg took a slim 24-23 lead into halftime, going the final 3:37 of the half without a basket. 

Waynesburg’s offense didn’t get any better in the second half. The Jackets scored 18 points in the second half, barely eclipsing the 40-point threshold in the loss. On the night, the Yellow Jackets shot just over 30%. 

Frank Bozicevic was the only Jacket to crack double figures, scoring 16 points.

Fusina was displeased, not with the shot selection, but with the inability to finish.

“Poor,” was the word Fusina used to describe the Jackets shooting efforts. “Missed shots at the rim, missed catch and shoot shots on the perimeter…poor. We didn’t make shots.”

Turnovers another issue. The Yellow Jackets committed 10 in each half to finish with 20 on the night. Chatham gave the ball away eight times in the first half, but settled down in the second to finish with just 12.

Entering the final 20 minutes, Fusina said the team tried to place an emphasis on continuing its strong defensive play, something that’s aided Waynesburg throughout this season.

“[We wanted to] contest and block out,” Fusina said “[We] wanted to continue to work for good shots. I thought we had good shots and we just didn’t make them.”

Waynesburg held the opposition to 33 percent from the field, and Fusina saw the ability to hold Chatham to 56 points scored as one of the lone positive takeaways.

Moving forward, he believes defense will continue to be key.

“We have to to continue to defend the way we did tonight, because I thought we were pretty good defensively,” Fusina said.

For Chatham, Marcus Cintron led the way with 15 points. Malik Porter [13] and Shawn Erceg [11] also cracked double figures.

The Jackets will travel to New Wilmington, Pennsylvania at 3:30 p.m. Saturday to face the third-best team in the PAC in the Westminster Titans [11-8, 6-4].

 “We’ll have our work cut out for us,” Fusina said. “We’ll have to defend and work for good shots.”