Schreiner University men's basketball coach Marwan Elrakawaby said heading into Tuesday night's game against Texas Lutheran; his team had to rebound.
The Mountaineers took those orders to heart by outrebounding visiting Texas Lutheran and earning their fifth consecutive Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference victory, 64-60.
A putback by first-year player Kamden Ross off an Alex Dehoyos miss helped snap a 60-60 tie with five seconds remaining in the game. The Mountaineers forced a turnover, leading Texas Lutheran to foul Beau Cervantes, who sealed the win with two free throws.
The Mountaineers outrebounded Texas Lutheran 60-33, and Schreiner dominated the offensive boards — 24-10. The effort helped offset one of the Mountaineers' worst shooting performances of the season, including a season-low 1-of-14 night from 3-point range.
"Another one of those games where we didn't shoot it well but found a way to win because of our effort on the glass," Elrakawaby said. "Getting 24 offensive boards and limiting them to 10 was the key. And I have to give the guys credit for embracing our identity as a rebounding team. We're currently one of the top two rebounding margin teams."
Ross turned in one of his most impressive efforts of his short career with a game-high 19 points and 15 rebounds.
"Kamden Ross is a special player," Elrakawaby said. "The kind of athlete and with the kind instincts that you can't teach around the basket. He has come up big for us now several times in this win streak. It's exciting to watch him play. He's brought energy and bounce we didn't have last year, and it's making a huge impact."
The victory avenged a narrow loss to Texas Lutheran last month. More importantly, Schreiner is 5-2 in the SCAC and one game behind St. Thomas and Trinity for the conference lead. The Mountaineers have beaten St. Thomas and suffered an overtime loss to Trinity last month.