Men’s basketball looks to come back at SEMO
Story by Kelsey Randolph, Sports Editor
Fourteen seconds after UT Martin won the tipoff Saturday, senior forward Wayne Langston committed a foul as the first official play of the game.
In an effort to prevent more foul trouble, Langston played just 14 minutes but still fouled four times. Five of those fourteen minutes were played in the last 15 minutes of the game, when Head Coach Matt McMahon put Langston back in the game in an effort to widen the gap of the losing score.
“I guess I watch film to see what I’m doing wrong so it won’t continue to happen,” Langston said.
Walking off the court with his head hung low and a pat on the back from Head Coach Matt McMahon, Langston’s face showed frustration after the Racers lost 63-59 against the Skyhawks.
“We’ve got to make some adjustments, obviously,” McMahon said.
McMahon was under the impression a player could arm bar with no extension on a catch, but that’s been called a foul lately. McMahon plans to go back to the officials’ tape from the beginning of the season to review and adjust as necessary.
“We can’t afford for him to get these ticky-tack fouls and end up on the bench,” McMahon said. “He doesn’t help us over there.”
As of Monday, Langston tied for 14th place for the most fouls per game. Through Langston’s first 22 games, referees have called him for 82 fouls, an average of 3.73 per game. Only 13 players in NCAA basketball average more. He has fouled out five times.
Langston is second in the OVC for fouls per game, only falling .04 behind Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s forward, Yemi Makanjuola, who averages 3.77 a game.
Similar to the first half, the Racers began the second half with their first official call on a foul by Langston in the first nine seconds.
Saturday’s game was a frustrating defeat all around. McMahon and the team are looking to prove they can win on the road despite their record losing streak on the road. UT Martin is now in third place for the OVC West while Murray State is second to Eastern Illinois.
“It’s definitely frustrating. I felt like I tried not to be as aggressive, but the first call was an arm bar,” McMahon said. “And I’ve been doing that all year so I really don’t know to be honest.”
Stepping in while Langston was sitting on the bench, freshman forward Charles Brown came in to help out. McMahon said he’s been tremendous on the practice floor and picks up what a player is trying to do from a strategic standpoint.
“It’s the little things like that when you add them up they become big things,” McMahon said. “I think he’s earned that time. When he’s got those minutes in the game, he’s been productive.”
Langston said he’s seen that Brown has always been a hard worker.
“I tell him that his day will come,” McMahon said.
He said Brown has been confident and played tremendously at the game against UT Martin, so much so that Langston had no worries during the first half of the game.
While frustrated to sit on the bench, Langston said he felt great about watching his teammates.
Traveling to Southeast Missouri State Thursday, the Racers look to come home with a win against the Redhawks, who are fifth in the OVC West. SEMO has won three of their last four games, which includes a win against UT Martin.