Bulldogs’ offense kept on leash in pair of losses
ST. IGNATIUS — The Bulldogs got back in action after a long break, but their offense was nowhere to be found.
The Mission Bulldogs averaged just 31 points in a pair of losses to start the new year. After a lackluster 47-35 loss to the Red Devils in Noxon Thursday, the Bulldogs were kept in single digits in each quarter in a 37-27 conference loss to Troy at home Saturday.
“You’re not going to have many shutouts in basketball. We need to score more points,” Mission coach Lloyd Phillips said.
Against Troy Saturday, Jake Durglo and Jorren Gies combined for 26 of the Bulldogs’ 27 points. Austin McDonald accounted for the rest of the Bulldogs’ scoring, hitting a free throw in the opening minutes to tie the score at 3.
Gies finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Gies’ final three points came on a 3-pointer with a little more than four minutes remaining in the game to cut Troy’s lead to 28-26. The Bulldogs had several chances to tie the score but turned the ball over on three straight trips down the court. The Bulldogs finished with 28 turnovers with 16 of them coming in the second half. After Gies’ 3-pointer, the Bulldogs didn’t score again until Durglo hit one of two free throws to make it 35-27 with less than 30 seconds to play.
Durglo scored six of his 10 points in the first quarter, with all three of his baskets coming from right underneath the basket. After the first quarter, Troy switched to a 2-3 zone and contained the 6-foot-5 senior.
“In order for us to be successful. Joren has to shoot more, Jake has to get more touches and we have to get points from some other people,” Phillips said.
The Bulldogs only attempted 37 shots in the game, connecting on 8 of 24 from 2-point range and 2 of 13 from behind the 3-point arc.
In Noxon Thursday, the Bulldogs fell behind early and never could catch up. The Red Devils scored their first six points on free throws and led by as many as 12 points in the first quarter.
“We just don’t have enough weapons to let someone get an eight or 10-point lead and play catch-up the rest of the way,” Phillips said.
The Bulldogs shot 34 percent from inside the arc, connecting on 13 of 38 shots and 17 percent behind the arc, draining 2 of 13 3-point attempts.
Durglo was the only Bulldog to finish in double figures in scoring, finishing with 12 points. Spencer Ahlborn finished with eight points and four boards.