Dec. 14—Kentucky Wesleyan College is expecting around 2,000 school children at the Sportscenter for its Tuesday lunch time men’s basketball game against University of Health Services and Pharmacy-St. Louis.
KWC partnered with some area mental health organizations to set up this field trip game early in the last week before Christmas break for Panther athletic teams.
“In my world, a great basketball game warrants a field trip,” KWC coach Drew Cooper said.
KWC is coming off a difficult road swing where it lost at Malone (78-66) and at Walsh (51-49) and was without leading scorer Ben Sisson because of an ankle injury. The Panthers are 5-5, 1-3 in the G-MAC.
“Our challenge was one, playing our first four conference games without Ben, we’re missing his leadership, his interior physicality,” Cooper said. “The second thing we’re battling is defining ourselves as a blue collar, gritty, tough basketball players.
“That’s a challenge to play against teams that have four graduate students using their COVID year to play, and it’s something we’re going to see throughout the season. Our warts were exploited, that and not having Sisson was a perfect storm.”
KWC is hoping to get Sisson and Kaeveon Mitchell, also sidelined with a leg injury, back when it restarts G-MAC play in late December.
Jordan Roland is leading the Panthers with 13.9 points a game in Sisson’s absence. Wyatt Battaile and Jomel Boyd are each scoring 12.5 points a game.
St. Louis is capable of putting up a lot of points. It scored 93 after falling behind by 25 points in a 99-93 loss at Drury on Saturday. Drury is in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
“In the 19-20 season we were 2-6 out of conference, and we gave ourselves the challenge going in 4-2 out of conference this season,” Cooper said. “The season is made up of mini-goals, and when putting together a body of work we would rather play again now.”