By GARY STALLARD
Angelina College head coach Nick Wade has what sounds like a fairly simple solution to his team's recent struggles: Clean up some of the small stuff and keep doing the big stuff.
The Roadrunners have lost three straight conference games, with two of those on the road – including Saturday's 78-64 loss at Blinn College.
Wade isn't worried. There's still a ton of basketball remaining on the schedule, and he knows his guys will bounce back, especially if they can rid themselves of the struggles plaguing them these past three games. AC will get the chance to break the recent streak with a home game on Wednesday against Coastal Bend Community College – losers of five straight league games.
"Our guys are still doing a great job, but we've hurt ourselves in some games by getting down early," Wade said. "The one thing we really need to see change is our free-throw shooting. We missed 14 free throws against Blinn, and we gave up too many offensive rebounds leading to 19 points. Add those two factors, and we gave up 33 points in a game we lost by 14.
"If we'll stop shooting ourselves in the foot, we'll give ourselves an opportunity to right the ship and get this moving in the right direction."
The 'Runners have shown improvement in other areas, and Wade said he expects the defensive effort to get even better as players gain more experience in their roles.
"Defensively, our younger guys are starting to come around and getting where we're asking them to be," Wade said. "Our level of focus is getting better incrementally. They're starting to key in on some of the minor details we've been harping on."
Wednesday's game tips off at 7 p.m. at Shands Gymnasium. The Roadrunners will honor Angelina County teachers as part of Teacher Appreciation Night, and Hudson Youth Basketball teams will play at half time.
Wednesday's action will be live streamed. Viewers can long onto angelinaathletics.com to view all the game action.
The e-mail address for AC's Sports Information Director is firstname.lastname@example.org.