The December, 12 matchup at Iowa Lakes marked the final first semester contest for the Tigers. The loss to the Lakers dropped the Tigers to 5-9 on the season. With a team consisting of eight freshmen and just one sophomore, the Tigers are looking to continue to improve into the second semester and make a run in the ICCAC. However, if the Tigers are planning to make a run, there are a lot of areas that will need improvement.
The Tigers are being outscored by an average of 69.6-51.8 so far throughout the season. Raw shooting numbers tell part of the story as the Tigers are shooting just 32.8% from the field and 26.9% from the three-point line while opponents are shooting 40.8% and 35.3% respectively.
While those percentages don't bode well for the Tigers, other numbers are more alarming as teams are averaging ten more shot attempts per game than the Tigers while committing just two less turnovers. Rebounding has cost the Tigers throughout the season. Currently the Tigers are being outrebounded 547-388 on the season. That's a difference of over twelve rebounds per game. Additionally, opponents are moving the ball better and have recorded 185 assists to the Tigers' 95 assists.
Those season stats tell the story of the matchup with the Lakers as well. The Lakers won 70-44 while shooting 10% better from the field, outrebounding the Tigers 35-18, and winning the assist battle 14-6.
As a team, the Tigers have yet to find their identity. However, there have been some very positive moments and games for the young Tigers squad that they can look to while working to discover a winning style of play on the court. Head Coach, Steve Garber, has seen flashes of the team's potential this year and is hoping to see more of it in the second semester.
"We're playing like a young and inexperienced team right now because that's what we are. We need to realize that some of the things that we're doing right now aren't going to work at this level. And we need to find ways to get the job done against some really tough teams. We've shown the ability to play really well in spurts this season. Now it's just about finding a way to be consistent. But I think that is coming."
The Tigers return to action on January, 5 when they host Kirkwood Community College.