By Loretta Gamboe, Staff Writer
ANKENY, Iowa—Call him "Captain Conable." It has a nice ring to it.
While he's no superhero, Eagles' sophomore Jason Conable had one of his best career games with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists against the sixth-ranked Falcons of Kansas Christian. His first double-double of the season, however, was not enough in a tough 119-61 loss.
Conable, one of the Eagles' team captains, says he loves to play basketball because of the team aspect, getting to build relationships, and working with his teammates, which motivates him to play well.
"Being a captain has made me step up my game," said Conable. "I have to be more vocal and be edifying in what I say— I can't just say whatever I want. It makes me push myself and hold myself to a higher standard."
Conable's effort certainly paid off in Saturday's loss to Kansas Christian as he hustled his way to his first career double-double. The Eagles struggled against the nationally ranked Falcons, who opened the game with a 13-2 run. Five minutes into the game, the score was 23-9, and halfway through the first half, the Eagles were down 25 points at 40-15. Though the Eagles could not cut into the Falcons' lead in the rest of the half, they played them evenly for ten minutes, only allowing the Falcons to increase their lead to 30 points at 66-33.
The Eagles didn't let the Falcons' lead keep them from hustling in the second half. They came out with a 7-1 run to bring the score to 67-41. Unfortunately, the Falcons pressed back and stretched their lead to 97-44 with 10 minutes left to play. The final score was 119-61.
"My favorite thing about my team is that they hustle all the time," said Conable. "They never give up, but instead keep fighting and encouraging each other."
He said the biggest challenge this season has been staying healthy, as multiple players on the team have been fighting injuries or sickness.
Conable was not the only Eagle to score in double digits. Chase Clark put up his seventh double-double of the season with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Micah Stinson contributed 13 points, his twelfth double-digit game of the season.
The Eagles will return to action in their conference tournament next weekend.
"It's going to be tough," Conable said, "but if we come in, focused on finishing—not just the games, but our lay-ups and shots and staying strong with the ball—then we should be able to stay in games."