Bellevue College’s men’s basketball team faced another 0-2 week, with close lossesagainst both Olympic on Jan. 25 and Everett on Jan. 29.
The Olympic matchup was the closest Bellevue had gotten to a win in conference play. Olympic guard Eli Reynolds’ 17 points in the first half were not enough as Bellevue held a 36-34 lead heading into halftime. However, Olympic bounced back with a 39-37 second half despite two ten-point efforts by Gerald Hood and Gabriel Moujaes. It wasn’t until overtime whenBellevue was outscored 11-5, culminating in an 84-78 loss.
Coach Donald Brady described the loss as heartbreaking, and stated that they missed a lot of open shots that would have allowed them to win the game. The Bulldogs shot just 37% from the field as opposed to their season average of 41%, but they still had every opportunity to win. Brady also stated that “often the team that has the most momentum going into overtime tends to be the team that wins, and unfortunately that was the case.” Bellevue had a four point lead with 45 seconds to go and missed two free throws as time expired that would have given them the win in regulation.
Bellevue was largely in it off a 17-point performance from Moujaes, by far his highest scoring this year. He missed the entirety of last year with a knee injury and is starting to look like his old self. Brady stated, “We were very excited for Gabriel and we do expect him to continue being a scoring spark off the bench.”
Heading into the Everett game, Brady was optimistic. He expected a close game but thought they could win if they could turn them over. According to Brady, “The big stats to look for in this game will be their offensive rebounds versus their turnovers. If we can keep the possessions about the same we have a shot.”
Bellevue managed the goals Brady set for them and still managed to fall 85-81. They shot 44% from the field with just one less attempt than their opponents. Rebounds and turnovers were both dead even at 38-38 and 16-15 respectively. The only real difference between the performances were the fouls, as Bellevue committed six more than Everett. This allowed five more free throws from Everett, which made up the entire scoring difference.
Guard Trevon Richmond recovered from a slight scoring slump, dropping 23 points on 8-12 shooting. Tijohn Rodde was just behind with 20 points, adding 10 rebounds to complete the double double. Jalen Womack and Hood both scored in the double digits as well.
However, it barely wasn’t enough to defeat the consistent offensive threats from Everett. Five Trojans scored in the double digits, including dual 16-point performances from guard PiolMakuei and forward Tyler Walker. The team shot an impressive 73% from the free throw line to take the victory.
Bellevue fell to 0-6 in conference play after their losses and are falling further out of the playoff race. Brady commented, “It might be a little late, but we are starting to play the right way.” With such a young team, there is reason to remain optimistic through the rest of this year and the next.