By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
The Mount-aineers started the season by winning six of their first seven games, including four 100-plus point performances.
But, since the departure of sophomore point guard Harry Cross, they’ve had trouble scoring points and finding ways to win games.
“We’ve just really struggled to score,” Berea College coach John Hemenway said. “We are just not scoring enough. We are in the 50s. We need to be in the 60 and 70s.”
Those offensive struggles continued Monday at the Seabury Center. The Mountaineers (7-7) shot just 40 percent and were only four-of-18 in a 68-52 loss to Taylor University (8-4). Deon Banks had 11 points off the bench as Berea set a new season-low for points.
The Mountaineers have lost five straight and have averaged just 63 points during that stretch.
“We’ve just got to make some more shots,” Hemenway said. “The ball is just not going in as much as it needs to. Confidence builds confidence. Right now, we just don’t have a lot of confidence.”
Taylor had four players in double figures, highlighted by 29 points from Casey Coons, and led for most of the game. The Trojans had a 38-31 lead at halftime and stretched that advantage to as much as 15 in the second half.
Nine players scored for Berea, but only one reached double figures. Trent Maddox and Rashad Hayden had eight points each, while Koty Riley had seven points and Tevin Webster had six points and six rebounds.
The Mountaineers averaged 102 points a game during a six-game winning streak in November with Cross in the lineup.
Cross, an All-KIAC selection last year as a freshman, left the team for personal reasons less than a month into the season. He played in three games and averaged nine points a game.
The Mountaineers will have some time off to regroup. They won’t play again until Jan. 5 when they take on Kentucky Christian University at the Seabury Center.
“We need to re-charge,” Hemenway said. “I’m a believer in letting them have a little time away to spend some time with their family. Then, we will bring them back and have a few good days of practice.”