The Titans began their season with a one-and-one record, starting with a win over Pacific University JV 78 to 69 on Nov. 21, but losing 89 to 76 to Lower Columbia the next day.
Their first home win of the season was on Nov. 23 against the Willamette JV Bearcats, 94 to 83. Freshman guard Durrell Porter led the Titans with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.
“I’m happy with the win no doubt, but I wish we would defend better,” Titans head coach Bruce Chavka said. The Bearcats’ Matt Logan led all scorers with 27 points, hitting seven of 11 from three-point range.
The score was close for most of the game; the Titans barely led at halftime 46 to 43. “They really shot the three-pointer well,” Chavka said, as the Bearcats shot 41 percent from behind the arc on 13 of 32 shots, but the Titans sank only eight of 26 shots for 31 percent.
Offensive rebounding was a big factor in the win, with the Titans grabbing 20 offensive boards that led to 23 second-chance points. Seven of the ten rebounds Porter collected were offensive rebounds.
The Titans out-rebounded the Bearcats 47 to 25. “Bottom line is we rebounded well enough to win,” Chavka said. “Need to improve though.”
The Titans’ bench contributed substantially, outscoring Willamette’s bench 29 to 12. Freshman guard Mitch Franz led team scoring with 19 points, hitting seven of 12 shots and collecting four rebounds. The team did an excellent job scoring on free-throws in the second half, making 13 of 16 attempts.
After the first three games, Chavka’s main focuses for improvement are shot selection, rebounding and defense. “We’re slowly figuring it out,” Chavka said.
“I think if we can get our defense to catch up with our offense we’ll be a lot better.”
The Titans played the Lane Alumni at home on Dec. 2, losing 92 to 87. They next travel to Eureka, Cal. for the Redwood Classic Dec. 6 to 7.