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Men’s basketball cruises past Walla Walla

Chace Davy, Staff Reporter - November 28, 2012

The fourth meeting between Central Wasington and Walla Walla University went the same as the previous three. The Wildcats defeated the Wolves in grand fashion.

The CWU men’s basketball team is off to a strong start for the 2012-2013 season. The team is now 4-1 in non-conference play after beating the Wolves with a final score of 92-74 on Monday.

CWU had a stranglehold on Walla Walla for the entire game, only allowing the Wolves to come within one point of the lead. The game became even more lopsided as time wore on.
At one point in the second half, the Wildcats were up by 30 points due to three free throws by freshman guard Joey Roppo.

It was the first home game of Roppo’s CWU career and he admitted to being nervous.
“Once I got in to the game and worked the pre-game jitters out, it felt all right,” Roppo said.

Roppo ended up with six points and three rebounds for the game.

Five Wildcats had 10 or more points and senior Brandon Magee ended the night with a double-double.

“One thing we did well is share the ball,” head coach Greg Sparling said.

Only one player on the Central team did not score any points.

The CWU offense has been on fire this preseason, outscoring their opponents by 43 points in their five games so far. The Wildcat’s one loss came at the hands of Azusa Pacific in overtime.

The CWU defense, on the other hand, is something Sparling isn’t making any excuses for.
“It’s not acceptable,” Sparling said. “At the end of the day, we started scrambling and trapping, and we have to get our rotation down. Defensively we’ve got to clean it up.”
Magee shared Sparling’s determination to step up the defense.

“We can outscore any team in the country, I think,” Magee said. “We’ve got so many talented shooters on the team this year.”

Walla Walla was an unusual team for CWU to play according to Sparling, because the Wildcats had a lack of film to study on the Wolves.

Walla Walla’s play style was also something the Wildcats had to prepare for.

“There’s not a team in our conference that plays [Walla Walla’s] kind of basketball,” Sparling said.

Not having enough film will not be a problem for CWU’s next game, which is their conference opener at Saint Martin’s today.

“I think we’re in good shape,” Sparling said. Sparling believes the kinks will be worked out with a few hard practices and that the long break over Thanksgiving definitely played a part in how the team played.

Magee is confident the team will come out with a victory against Saint Martin’s.

“The key is going to come down to defense, and how bad we want to get down and grind and get stops,” Magee said.

Roppo feels the same way. Momentum and fundamentals are the key if the Wildcats want to keep winning.

“We’ve got to defend, and keep our energy, work on our rotations and rebounds,” Roppo said.

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