Senior guard Tyresse Williford kicked off the season on Oct. 29 with 15 points against the Fontbonne Griffins.

SIUE students just enjoyed fall break and will soon be on winter break, but student athletes work hard in practices during breaks, just as they do during the academic year. Some do not even go home during breaks.

Sports is a top priority for student-athletes. This is no exception for the men’s basketball team, who drove to California over break to play University of the Pacific and University of California, Riverside. 

Sophomore forward Treavon Martin said training looks different during travel, but they do find the time to practice. 

“We were mostly on the road, so it was mostly just watching film to see what they do and how they do it … it’s walking through what you’re going to do to dictate your game plan,” Martin said. “And then we’d probably play a four-minute scrimmage … and then we’d probably play a scenario.” 

Though they were training over break, they could not manage to beat the west coast teams. They lost to UOP with a score of 78-50, and they lost to UCR with a score of 69-51. 

Meanwhile, SIUE wrestling was also busy over break. On Nov. 23, they performed at the Lindenwood Open, and they followed with a recovery workout on Sunday, harder workouts on Monday and Tuesday, and a morning practice on Wednesday before they were able to leave for Thanksgiving, Head Coach Jeremy Spates said.

Sophomore heavyweight Colton McKiernan echoed Martin’s words when he explained how training over breaks is different than during the school year. 

“We’re doing two practices a day compared to one, and we have more time as in we’re not trying to lose weight because we don’t have a competition coming up … just hard conditioning and stuff like that and more ‘what do we need to get better on’ as a team,” Mckiernan said. 

Spates said the team had pointers of workouts to do when they had the chance to go home.

“We usually tell them we want them to take a couple days off … so we want them to have a little bit of rest and make sure they get some time with their family and everything … but we’ll usually send them with a couple of workouts, we’ll tell them to get in two wrestles or two lifts, that type of deal,” Spates said. 

Spates also said while the players had an opportunity to go home over break, some stayed back with their own plans. 

“Some of the guys choose to stay here, and they actually did a Friendsgiving,” Spates said. “About four or five of them and some of the local guys got together.” 

Basketball will be playing at Northwestern at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15, and wrestling will be performing all day on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Vadalabene Center for the Cougar Clash .

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