The Albany State basketball teams are in the midst of a three game home stand. 2012 has been kind (so far) with both squads earning wins Tuesday night.
The men's team squeaked by Lane College 71 to 68 behind fifteen points from ASU senior Marcus Benitez. The win ended a two game conference losing streak for ASU.
Albany State will play two more games this week at HPER Gym against win-able competition starting Thursday with Kentucky State, and concluding with Fort Valley State on Saturday.
However, Albany State Head Coach Chris Cameron knows his team's success will ultimately depend on the Golden Rams defense.
"We have a lot of work to do on the defensive end...we gave up too many (Tuesday night), our goal was 55...and we didn't reach our goal, so that's something that we have to work on, do a better job. Defense is our main thing. We know if we can shut people down we always have a chance of winning," Cameron said.
For the Lady Rams, it's all about forgetting the struggles of 2011. A new year brings about hope for 2-7 ASU.
The Lady Rams changes may have begun with an 82-59 win on Tuesday. Albany State received complete performances ranging from senior Symone Wilkerson all the way down to the freshman.
ASU Head Coach Robert Skinner says his younger players are starting to mature, and he'll need more of the same if the team wants to make an impact in the SIAC.
"Definitely have to look at that as being an opportunity to start over again, start fresh and we came out with the attitude that's what we wanted to do in 2012, so hopefully we can maintain and take it to the next level," Skinner said.
The team's leading scorer Symone Wilkerson did not start Tuesday's game due to disciplinary problems, but Skinner said she took the news with a smile. Wilkerson responded with one of her better games finishing with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.
The ASU lady rams tip off against Kentucky State Thursday at 5:30 PM. The Thorobreds are a half game ahead of ASU in the SIAC standings.