MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Dec. 13, 2019; the date of the Faulkner men’s basketball team’s last loss. Since then, the Eagles have ripped off 15 wins in a row and at 24-3 overall, have somersaulted into the top 10 in the NAIA Top 25 polls.
“We’re playing both ends of the floor, playing really well defensively,” said Faulkner head men’s basketball coach Scott Sanderson. "Sharing the ball offensively. We’ve just been consistent, and I think you really win a lot of games in practice and preparation’s been really, really good.”
The Eagles are shooting their competition out of the gym. 11 of their 15 wins have been by 10 or more points. They’re outscoring opponents by an average of 16.1 points per game. They’re scoring 89.5 points per game while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from the three-point line. Faulkner’s opponents are scoring just 71.9 points per game while shooting 40.8 percent from the field and around 31 percent from three.
The best part about it? They’ve dominated both at home and on the road, winning eight games at home and seven on the road.
“It’s great, you know, we’re out there competing every day, working really hard, coach Sanderson is doing a great job with us and we’re just happy to be here,” said senior forward Milan Skundric.
The mindset lately has been to just take things day-by-day. Get better every day. Win every day. Skundric says they’ve approached each game the same.
"I think that we play each game like it’s our last and it don’t matter if it’s like two in a row, five in a row, fifteen in a row, we just play like every game like matters,” said Skundric.
Senior guard Nate Bradley says the team just loves stacking Ws. They love the grind, putting in the work and seeing the results. But they also love having fun and playing for each other.
“We just share the ball so well and we don’t care who really scores we just wanna get that next win," said Bradley.
The team is averaging 17.1 assists per contest over the last 15 games. A sign that they’re sharing the basketball.
“There’s no 'i' in ‘team,’" said the 6-6 Serbian, Skundric. “We’re all sharing the ball a lot and it don’t matter if somebody scores 20 points, 15 points, we’re all going for each other.”
Everything the Eagles have done up to now has set them up for an important date with the No. 4 Dalton State Roadrunners. The two teams already have a history this season. Back in November, Dalton State handed Faulkner its one and only conference loss.
As of Wednesday, Faulkner sits ahead of the Roadrunners in the Southern States Athletic Conference standings with just two games remaining in the regular season.
“It’s definitely a big game," said Skundric. "Dalton [State] is a great team but I think we built a lot of confidence from the past 15 games and we’ll be ready for them.”
"We owe 'em one and I think it just, takes all of us honestly not one person, it’s gone take all of us to get the win,” Bradley said.
Bradley expects the energy inside Tine Davis Gymnasium and around the team to be “crazy.” The fight and heart he says the team has shown will be put to the test as they go for win number 16 in a row.
As far as how they approach the game, Sanderson says it shouldn’t be any different.
"Everybody else would treat it differently but I don’t think we can treat it differently, and hopefully we’ll come out and play the way we’ve been playing,” said Sanderson.
The No. 8 Eagles and No. 4 Roadrunners will tip things off Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.