Due to the closure of Lane’s campus during last week’s snowstorms, all practices and games for both the men and women’s basketball teams were canceled.
Both Titans squads were scheduled to face the Mt. Hood Community College Saints at home on Feb. 8, but, once the snowstorms hit, those contests were postponed to Feb. 10.
However, on Feb. 10, the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges website announced that the games would again have to be rescheduled, because Mt. Hood did not have school that day.
The official date for the games is now Feb. 17 at Titan Coliseum. The women are scheduled to tip off at 5:30 p.m., while the men’s game will begin at 7:30 p.m.
These schedule changes will affect each team differently.
Both squads were given a four-day break from all basketball activities from Feb. 6 to Feb. 9, and neither team has played a game since each traveled to Roseburg on Feb. 5. to take on the Umpqua Community College Riverhawks.
“I think it’s fabulous. It gave us four days off to rest our legs. You never get four days off in conference play,” Lane men’s head coach Bruce Chavka said. “It helps us because we really have only been playing seven guys.”
The Titans men now enter a stretch where they will play their last five games of the regular season over a 10-day period, including three away games.
They are currently in sixth place with a 5-5 record in NWAACC South Region play, but could see their fortunes change soon, as they are only one game out of second place.
Four teams are tied for second in the South Region at 6-3, meaning one win could vault the Titans back into playoffs contention.
“Our season is gonna be decided here in the next couple weeks,” Chavka said.
Lane began its strenuous road trip on Feb. 12 when the Titans lost to the Linn Benton Community College Roadrunners by a score of 74-67 in Albany, OR.
That loss followed an 86-67 blowout over the Umqua Community College Riverhawks on Feb. 5. Sophomore forward Zach Kirschbaum led the Titans that night with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
The women have a slightly easier road. They will play one fewer game than the men, due to the fact that Linn-Benton Community College carries a men’s basketball program, but not a women’s.
The Titans’ women have the toughest part of their schedule behind them. They have already played the Riverhawks, who hold first place in the NWAACC South Region, as well as the third-place Clackamas Community College Cougars.
“We’re not really relieved,” Lane women’s head coach Greg Sheley said. “I enjoy playing against good teams.”
Lane is currently in second place, trailing Umpqua by one game. The Titans had an opportunity to take control of the region and complete a season sweep of the Riverhawks on Feb. 5, but were unable to capitalize.
Umpqua’s tough zone defense kept Lane out of the paint, and the Titans responded by shooting a dreadful 10-of-47 from three-point range, en route to a 85-66 loss.
Unlike the men’s team, the Titan women will have a long waiting period until their next game. They will head to Portland Community College on Feb. 15 to take on the Cougars, meaning they will have a 10-day gap between their Feb. 5 loss to the Riverhawks and their next matchup.
“I hope it won’t adversely affect us,” Sheley said. “I am hoping the extra time off will rejuvenate us for the final three weeks of the season.”