Team hopes to snag a win: Basketball prepares for Carthage match

Junior+Tayvian+Johnson+fights+for+the+ball+during+tipoff+against+IWU+last+month.+The+Vikings+have+lost+two+of+their+last+four+were+looking+to+beat+North+Central.%0APhoto+by+Hoang+Nguyen.

Junior Tayvian Johnson fights for the ball during tipoff against IWU last month. The Vikings have lost two of their last four were looking to beat North Central. Photo by Hoang Nguyen.

Junior Tayvian Johnson fights for the ball during tipoff against IWU last month. The Vikings have lost two of their last four were looking to beat North Central. Photo by Hoang Nguyen.
Junior Tayvian Johnson fights for the ball during tipoff against IWU last month. The Vikings have lost two of their last four were looking to beat North Central.
Photo by Hoang Nguyen.

The men’s basketball team doesn’t want previous games to affect their preparation for the upcoming home game against Carthage College on Feb. 7.
While the men’s basketball team beat Carthage 73-42 at an away game on Jan. 3, Junior Tayvian Johnson has high expectations for the game.  The men are 6-1 at home, and Johnson wants to end the season with an 8-1 home record.
“Just because we beat them [Carthage] in the past, that doesn’t mean that we think we will walk out and win, and it is important that we play every game as hard as we can,” said Johnson.
Carthage is a member of the CCIW conference, which makes this game important going into the conference tournament.  Since Augustana beat Carthage earlier this year, Carthage has shown improvement and has gone on to beat higher ranking teams such as North Central.
In addition, the team suffered a disappointing loss against North Park, who currently have a 3-6 record according to recent CCIW standings, on Jan. 31. Yet players remain optimistic and focused on the present task of Carthage.
Junior Hunter Hill knows that this game can be a big factor in the success of the season as a whole. He said he isn’t looking past any games before the conference tournament, but does know the effect each game can have on the tournament.
“This season we haven’t looked past anyone, because from top to bottom there have been upsets, and if you look past anyone, you’re susceptible to getting beat on any night,” said Hill.
Hill added that a late-season win over Carthage will give the team “momentum” as they head towards the end of the conference season and into post-season play.
To prepare for Carthage, the team will be watching a film on the Red Men and will practice throughout the week, but slow down before the game.
Senior Mark Roth is hoping the team will pull off a win. He said he refuses to look past Carthage, even though senior night is coming up.
“I am really looking forward to senior night, but I want to beat Carthage and then take it from there,” said Roth.
The Augustana basketball team will only have three more games after Carthage.  They will play away at Illinois Wesleyan, and then Millikin at home for senior night. The end of their regular season with finish with an away game at Wheaton.