Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lions Split Road Games: `We've Had Our Troubles Away from Home . . .'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lions Split Road Games: `We've Had Our Troubles Away from Home . . .'

Article excerpt

"When we come to play, we can compete with the teams on our schedule," Lindenwood College men's basketball coach Rick Kestner said. "But when we don't come to play, it can get pretty ugly."

The Lions saw a little of each extreme in games last week, losing 88-66 at Iowa Wesleyan College Thursday and 88-81 at McKendree (Ill.) College Saturday.

"Iowa Wesleyan's a tough place to play; they play in a small, high school-sized gym and it can be a tough atmosphere for a visiting team," said Kestner, whose team is 2-3 in the American Midwest Conference and 7-14 overall. "But those are the kind of things you have to learn to deal with if you're going to be a successful team. The difference between good teams and great teams is that great teams find a way to win on the road.

"We've had our troubles away from home and, honestly, we weren't prepared to play Thursday."

And that combination proved costly for the Lions, who trailed by 16 at halftime in Iowa.

"At some point, your players have to get themselves prepared mentally for each game," Kestner said. "Thursday, we never really gave ourselves a chance. For example, we only shot four free throws, and all of those came in the second half. To me, that's an indication of our approach to the ballgame; for whatever reason, we never really tried to force the issue."

In the loss, the Lions got 16 points from Greg Petty, 12 from Brian Lloyd and 11 apiece from Kerry Jackson and Mike Barker.

"We shot 13 more shots than Iowa Wesleyan, but we only shot 39 percent to their 56 percent," Kestner said. "It was one of those games we'd just as soon forget."

And the Lions did manage to put that poor effort behind them, responding with a solid effort at McKendree, where Lindenwood fell 88-81.

"McKendree's another of the tougher places to play in the conference, but we went in there and played a solid ballgame," Kestner said. …

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