Memorial Sea-Hawks men’s basketball coach Peter Benoite is looking for a full-game effort from his team this weekend.
The Sea-Hawks (1-9), coming off their first win of the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) season last Saturday against the UNB Varsity Reds, are scheduled to take on the 7-4 St. Francis Xavier X-Men this weekend in Antigonish, N.S.
“We felt we let a game slip away from us last time in our home series against St. Francis,” said Benoite.
“We’ve had a number of close games so far that we just were not able to close out down the stretch, so I’m hoping the win this past weekend will boost our confidence being in those situations,” said Benoite.
Benoite maintains his team is much better now than early in the year.
“We’re shooting the ball better and our understanding of the effort level needed to play defense is improving each weekend we play,” he said. “We are still struggling to get consistent play each and every game, but I feel the progress is there week to week.”
While its usually tougher to win a road game, Benote said his team should have a some confidence having beaten St. FX last year and coming close to defeating Acadia two weeks ago, both road games.
“So, whether we are on the road or at home, it shouldn’t matter right now, as our compete level needs to be the same,” said Benoite.
“I really believe that if we give the same effort and play with the same energy that we have shown the last two Saturday nights, then it doesn’t matter who we are playing or where we are playing. We’ll be battling down the stretch and eventually, we’ll be in the position where we will be trying to extend leads. But that process doesn’t happen overnight, and we must remain patient and aim to make strides every weekend we play.”
In any case, MUN could use more offensive punch.
One player the Sea-Hawks would like to see come around is Noel Moffatt.
The third-year wing from St. John’s has found it tough to regain his form from last season when he threw down 36 points against the University of Prince Edward Island.
Needless to slay, MUN misses that sort of effort.
“Certainly Noel has the potential and the ability to be performing better for us then he has been,” said Benoite. “Unfortunately, its been a bit of an unlucky year for him.”
Benoite pointed out an ankle injury and surgery on his elbow took a fair bit of time to get over, and he didn’t really get back to himself until the team’s Christmas training camp.
“He started playing very well then and seemed liked he was getting his confidence back and shooting the ball the way he did at the end of the year last year,” Benoite said.
“However, as luck would have it, he is on work term this semester with Business and had to spend 10 days in Toronto doing training in early January.
“He actually flew back to St. John’s the day before we left for Acadia. So I kinda knew he wasn’t going to have his A game. Now we just have to go through the process again of helping him get his confidence back while he works himself back into the rotation.
The MUN coach said Moffatt has a “great work ethic and great desire to perform, so I’ve no worries there. He just needs to stay patient and let the game come back to him again.
“I’m confident over the next couple of weeks he’ll work himself back into his regular minutes and will become a contributor for us.