“We did exactly what we wanted to do with our defense,’’ Gouard said. “We forced them into turnovers, and we would come down to either miss a layup or turn it back over.
“Against any team, you have to capitalize in those situations.’’
Not only did the Jaguars turn up the defensive pressure in the second half, they also hit the offensive glass.
DACC had 15 of its 20 offensive rebounds in the final 20 minutes, but once again, it was missed opportunities as the Jaguars had just 6 second-chance points off of those offensive rebounds. Included in that was a sequence late in the game when DACC had pulled within 69-65, a pair of missed shots from point-blank range and a turnover in the final minute sealed the victory for Wabash Valley.
“When you miss a point-blank layup, that just lets the air out of your team,’’ Gouard said. “We have to finish those layups.’’
English, who had a season-high 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting, admitted that was a pivotal stretch for DACC.
“We came out hard in the second half, but we need to play defense like that from the start of the game,’’ he said. “It’s hard to get over missed layups, but we need to do a better job with finishing.’’
Not only was Tuesday’s game the first home game for the Jaguars and Gouard, it was also the return to the Mary Miller Gymnasium for former DACC coach Mike Carpenter, who is in his first season at Wabash Valley.
“It was emotional to spend as much time as we did here and to work with those guys (Gouard, Rick Voyles and Pat Kelly) so closely on a daily basis,’’ Carpenter said. “I walked out and walked to the wrong bench. After that it kind of hit me.