By: Clark Shanahan
GALESBURG, Illinois - The Knox Prairie Fire men’s basketball team fell to the Illinois College Blueboys this Tuesday in Memorial Gym, losing 72-60. With the loss in their final game of their season, Knox’s record on the year ends at 8-16.
The Prairie Fire made a concerted effort to get the basketball to their offensive leaders early on. Jordan Rayner put up a season-high 25 points on 9-of-18 shooting on the night, including a 3-for-5 performance from beyond the arc. Knox largely rode Rayner’s performance when they could, as otherwise the team as a whole shot 44.44% in the first half. Defensively, although the Blueboys struggled from the free throw line, Illinois College was largely able to shoot anywhere on the floor, going 13-for-23 in the half. As a result, Knox entered the half down by six points.
In the second half, the Prairie Fire saw the relatively few open looks they had evaporate, forcing them to put up much tougher shots than before. Sean Gallery used the limited looks he had effectively, shooting 3-for-5 to score seven points along with his 6 rebounds. Unfortunately, the team’s offense struggled more in the second half, as they only were able to muster a 12-for-29 shooting effort. Knox tightened up defensively, harassing the Blueboy frontcourt and transitioning well, but they were unable to close the gap by these efforts alone.
Knox ends an encouraging season, and begins to look forward towards improving in their next one.
"We saw a lot of glimpses of what our future could be today," said head coach Ben Davis. "We are getting close to being able to win these types of games and I am excited to see what next year brings with another year of experience under our belts."