Transfers make impact on court

Austin Lane, Sports Editor

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Despite a 1-5 conference start, the CWU Men’s Basketball team has seen positive signs from some of the transfers on the team that are new to CWU this season. 

One athlete that has been making his presence felt so far is senior guard Davon Bolton. 

Bolton is averaging 9.1 points per game and has been trending upward, scoring double digits in four out of the last six games. In the team’s first conference road game of the season against Western Washington University, Bolton had 18 points, two assists and five rebounds. Two games prior, the senior had a season-high 19-point game against Multnomah University.

“I’m just being more aggressive, picking my shots better,” Bolton said.

Téa Green

Head coach Brandon Rinta knows there are some challenges that come with being in the program for only one season, but that Bolton has made the necessary adjustments.

“He’s adjusted quickly and has been a big part of what we are doing,” Rinta said. “We needed another ball handler and a guy that is capable of scoring the basketball from outside and at the rim and he’s been able to prove he can do that in this conference.”

Another athlete that is playing well for the team is junior forward Kevin Baker. After coming back from an injury that kept him out for the first couple weeks of the season, Baker is now averaging 14.4 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game. Baker has scored double digits in seven out of the eight games he has played so far this season. Against Montana State University Billings (MSUB) on Saturday night, the junior had 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and a season-high three steals.

“I think the guys just accepted me in,” Baker said. “We all know how to play off each other’s strengths and they’re just getting me in my spots and I’m just making shots right now.”

Rinta attributes Baker’s success to his feel for the game. Rinta said Baker is an extremely skilled and intelligent basketball player.

“He, more often than not, makes the right reads, whether it’s dribbling, shooting or passing it. That’s what this team desperately needed,” Rinta said.

Tariq Woody, a sophomore transfer from Wheeling Jesuit University, had a breakout game against MSUB on Saturday. The 6-foot-8 forward went for a season-high 29 points to go along with six rebounds and one assist. Woody was on the court for 20 minutes and shot 72.2% on the night, putting up 18 shots and knocking down 13 of them.

The team is gearing up for a two-game home stand against Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks this week. The Anchorage game starts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 and the Fairbanks game starts at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Rinta said the team needs to get back to .500 by winning one game at a time.

“Everybody wants to win, nobody wants to lose. It’s a long season, we’re just starting to really get into GNAC play,” Rinta said. “That first weekend wasn’t how we wanted to start out at home and so what that does is it puts us in a position where we’ve gotta find ways to get more wins on the road.”