There was no better team to defeat to get back on track than the first place (RV) Governors State University. The Wave welcomed the Jaguars to town having dropped two straight, and in danger of sliding down the conference standings. The battle with GSU was just that, a battle. In an incredibly exciting game, the outcome came down to the final possession. A missed Wave shot, along with a blown double digit lead, allowed Governors State to walk away with a 69-67 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams came out firing on all cylinders, going right at each other with an extremely aggressive form of play. Baskets were being matched at each end of the court, at least until about the halfway mark when CCSJ (10-7, 4-6 CCAC) went on a run. The Wave opened up a ten-point lead thanks to a 18-8 run over the course of eight minutes. GSU (13-7, 9-1 CCAC) was able to whittle that lead down however, going on a 10-2 run of their own in the last 3:07 to cut the Crimson and Gray lead down to 36-34 entering the locker rooms.
After the break, it looked like Calumet was well on their way to a victory, one that would help them make up for some lost opportunities. The Wave recaptured their ten-point lead within the first five minutes of period number two, and pushed that lead to 13 moments later. What would happen next could have ripple effects for the rest of the season. The Crimson and Gray would not score again for the next seven minutes, allowing the Jaguars to go on a 17- 0 run. The cause for the sudden offensive outburst was an incredible pressured defense attack that forced the Wave to make errors and cough up the ball. Down 59-57, Michael Brooks (SR/Chicago, Ill.) broke the drought with back to back field goals, but the damage was done. The momentum was clearly on the side of GSU, and stayed with them for the rest of the way. Governors pushed their lead to five with 30 second remaining, which was then cut down to two thanks to a Devin Harrison (SR/Chicago, Ill.) tray and a Jose Ramirez (SR/Chicago, Ill.) tip in, with a pair of GSU free throws in-between. After a missed free throw attempt on GSU's end, the Wave had one final shot to win or tie the game. A three-point attempt from Harrison sailed wide however, as the Jaguars escaped with a 69-67 victory, pushing them to 9-1 in CCAC play.
Harrison led all Wave scorers with 15 points, while Ramirez led all players in the game with 14 boards. Michael Brooks put together four assists in the loss, which was the Wave get outscored 17-6 in the category of points off turnovers. The team shot 39.7 percent from the floor, but only 25 percent from three-point land.
After the final horn, head coach Ryan Sexson talked about what went wrong and what this loss means for the rest of the season. "One of the keys to the game that we had on the board is that we had to have good ball security. We got up 13 in the second half, and then we got loose with the ball. We ended up turning it over 15 times and they scored 17 points because of it. That was the difference. We clawed back towards the end and had a chance to win it, but we should have never been in that position." Sexson continued, "The question is how can we win games when we aren't making threes. It's still early in the season and there is a lot of games left to be played. We have a big time hot streak coming in us, I'm just not sure when it's going to start. The goal is to be playing your best basketball at the end of February, and I think when we are right, were as good as anybody."
Trinity Christian is up next for the Wave, who is currently the last place team in the conference at 2-8 in the CCAC. A chance to break their three game skid will come at 7:30 on Wednesday night from Palos Heights, Ill.
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