MOORHEAD – The matchup against the University of Minnesota Morris on Wednesday, Nov. 8 left many that attended enthusiastic over what 2023-24 season has in store for the men’s basketball squad.
Within the opening minutes, both teams would trade shots, staying relatively close in score. However that would change once junior Zach Jackson nailed a three-pointer putting the Cobbers up where they would remain for the rest of the game.
By the end of the game, Jackson not only dropped his personal high of 19 points but led the team in points off six of nine from the field.
“Nobody deserves it more than Zach,” head coach, Tyler Bormann said. “He’s an everyday guy. We preach in our program you need to show up every day and just work. He is the epitome of that. He shows up, he works, he puts his body on the line.”
Wednesday’s victory could also be attributed to the defensive clinic put on by the Cobbers, stopping multiple Cougar possessions with an impressive man-to-man style defense.
One example of this was seen midway through the first quater when Morris player Tarik Iyob looked to score a layup but was blocked by sophmore Jackson Loge. Loge isn’t the only big man players like Iyob need to look out for this year. Junior Noah Christiensen took down 8 rebounds while sophmore Jacob Cook racked up a total of 10 rebounds to finsih the night.
“We’re going to be a team this year that really hangs our hat on taking the fight to teams. I wanted to see us get after them, and I thought we played really well, on the defensive end early,” Bormann said.
Midway through the second half, any dreams of a Morris miracle would be thwarted as the Cobbers walked away with an 80-53 silencer, sending the Cougars home, tails-in-hand.
“We had a great crowd. And I think that’s the first thing I’d love to highlight is we really appreciate when people can come out and support our guys and our women as well,” Bormann said. “Memorial is a tremendous atmosphere when we have people in the stands bringing energy. And so part of it was we wanted to make sure we played really well and really hard for all the people that came out to watch us play.”
With the 2023-24 season just beginning, the Cobbers look to change the narrative from last season, losing five straight games by six or less points.
“I think that the biggest thing for our group right now is trying to learn from last year in playing close games, and turning some of those losses into wins, because our conference right now is going to be extremely balanced,” Bormann said.
The next home game will be held Dec. 8 against St. Johns University.