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AU Club basketball faces prisoners

Keith Gale

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The AU Club basketball team ventured to the Mansfield Correctional Institution on Feb. 10th to play the prisoners. The AU team lost both games, the first ended with a 78-52 score and the second a close 65-60 score.

“We played man (defense) the first game and then switched to a 2-3 zone, because they were too tall and physical in the paint,” Club President Seth Miller said.

The crowd was filled with only prisoners in the seats, however, there were some guards watching the games from one side of the court.

“It was very intimidating getting escorted through the prison and hearing people kind of yelling and seeing people flip you off, but still something different than usual,” senior Collin Cayse said. “During the game it was pretty aggressive and physical, which most games are, but the players were cool about calls and the way we played.”

There was a lot of heckling from the crowd of prisoners, but most of the hecking was to the other prisoners and a lot of the prisoners were cheering for the club team. The entire room went in an uproar of cheers and yelling when the Club team hit a 3-pointer buzzer beater to tie the game at half 32-32.

“The crowd was really wild and into the game,” sophomore player Griffin Lusk said. “A funny part about the experience was that the crowd was more critical of the inmates than our club team.”

The gym was made with a plastic tile material, which the club team members had not played on before.

“The floor was a hard thing to get used to mostly because there were some chips in it that we had to avoid or the ball would bounce away from us.” Cayse said. “Another factor that was hard to get used to was the slipperiness of the floor.”

The team all agreed that the games were really fun and a great learning experience for playing athletic and big teams. Miller would also like to go back for more games with the inmates this semester.

“We had a great time and made great adjustments in the second game,” Miller said. “We will definitely want to go back and play them again sometime this semester.”

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