Sporting white sneakers on the sideline of another dissapointing let-down, Parkside’s Luke Reigel epitomized a head coach about ready to step on the court himself.
On a Saturday afternoon where collegiate coaches around the country were encouraged to support health and fitness, Parkside’s inconsistency translated into a frustrating defeat, 75-66.
Featuring a scoring dual between electrifying guards Grant Johnson and Darius Adams, UW-Parkside (3-10) (8-14) hosted the University of Indianapolis (5-7) (11-10) at Desimone Gymnasium in Kenosha, WI.
Coming off a 78-67 loss to No. 2 Southern Indiana on Thursday, the Rangers have now conceded defeat on three straight consecutive occasions against a Great Lakes Valley Conference opponent.
Poor execution offensively on Saturday left Parkside vulnerable for the Greyhounds to wreak havoc in transition. Utilizing their athleticism, Indianapolis opened up a 17-7 lead early.
Despite matching the opposition in shooting percentage at 44 percent, the home squad suffered 11 first half turnovers.
“We turned the ball over and you can’t do that in this league and get away with it,” said Johnson, who tallied 29 points and three steals for the Rangers. “Seeing the game slip away, I just tried to keep my composure.”
Parkside’s carelessness ignited the offense of UI which served up eight fast break points to complement their 14 tacked onto the scoreboard off turnovers.
Struggling to generate offense, Reigel tried the combination of freshman guard’s Jamere Dismukes and Ryan Callozzo in the back court.
“With the absence of [Zach] Blesich, we had to go to a small lineup,” Reigel cited. “We just didn’t have the veteran presence.”
Dismukes’ ability to slash the lane and make plays cultivated in 12 points and four assists in a losing cause.
UW-P trailed by as much as 17 but salvaged the half by entering the break at a manageable 38-26 deficit.
After an embarrassing first half in many respects, a 13-4 run made such a poor effort forgettable. The emergence of Johnson was the key factor as Parkside’s sophomore sensation posted 18 second half points to ignite the offense.
Accumulating only two shot attempts in the opening half, Jeremy Saffold, Parkside’s season scoring leader, had limited touches managing only 11 points.
Approaching six minutes remaining, Johnson rose up and buried a jumper to give Parkside their first lead of the afternoon, 60-59.
Stressing the containment of Adams, Indianapolis’ junior not only served as a scoring machine, but facilitated the offense as well.
Adams racked up 31 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.
“When we had to switch to zone defense, we couldn’t stop his [Adams’] penetration,” Reigel said. “We just can’t play only 15 minutes of good basketball and expect to win.”
Seizing the lead, Indianapolis secured the victory with stellar defense down the stretch.
The Rangers will see plenty of Lewis University in the days ahead as they travel to Illinois to face the Flyers for a 7:45 pm tip-off next Saturday, Feb. 6. Returning home Thursday, Feb. 11, Parkside once again matches up against Lewis for a 7 pm start time.