Bears hope to have succesful end to 2010-2011 season

The UCA men’s basketball team has a losing record in its 2010-2011 season, but Coach Corliss Williamson said he has not given up on this team’s ability to come back.
Out of their 13 losses, seven have been by 10 points or fewer, and Williamson said the team is hopeful that with 12 games left on its schedule, a Southland Conference Championship is still within reach.
“We lost by a small margin most games to almost every team,” senior guard Imad Qahwash said. “But I feel we have gotten better because of our tough non-conference schedule which has helped put us in a position to win conference games.”
While the Bears did have close games against tough non-conference teams like the Southern Methodist University Mustangs and the Oklahoma University Sooners, the Bears have been struggling to keep up with their Southland Conference rivals.
The Bears are looking for things to turn around for their last few games of the season, all while keeping the dream of a Southland Conference championship in the forefront, Qahwash said.
“I feel like the team has really gotten better as a whole,” junior guard Dewan Clayborn said. “Some good things that have taken place are that we are getting better with our defense and our offensive ability on the court … one thing I think we could improve on though is our ability to finish out close games.”
Many of the players said they do not feel that the win-loss record thus far has shown just how truly talented this team really is. While the Bears are working diligently on becoming a more solid and consistent team, they are keeping their focus on the possibility of entering the conference championship tournament, senior forward Tadre Sheppard said.
Clayborn said one of the prominent and immediate goals that the team has for accomplishing this is that they want to play hard and smart for the entire 40 minutes of the game, rather than just in spurts.
“I would like to see some improvement on our defense and finishing games, and also on taking better shots and trusting each other more as a team,” Sheppard said.
Although the Bears have a lot to work out for the remainder of the season, Clayborn said he feels that Williamson believes in their ability as a team to overcome past mistakes and turn the season around.
“Coach Williamson doesn’t only help us grow as athletes, but he helps us grow as men,” Clayborn said.
He said he believes Williamson knows they have plenty of time to make this season a success. The Bears are working hard on and off the court in order to ensure that they accomplish the goals that they have set before them, Clayborn said.

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