By Derek Stiles
Despite coming into the final stretch of the season having beaten three of the four teams left on their schedule, the Shoremen fell victim to red-hot shooting against both Haverford and Ursinus.
In a close contest against the Mules, the Shoremen fell short in the second half, losing 80-86. Haverford shot 63.3 percent from the floor and held off a late Washington College run by hitting eight of ten free throws in the final two minutes to seal the victory.
Freshman James Drury would contribute a career-high 22 points, in addition to seven rebounds and three assists. Sophomores Dave Knox and Pat Morgan would add on 13 points each as well. Morgan would also get his first career double-double as he took down ten boards.
“I probably played so well because they didn’t scout me very much since I wasn’t playing most of the season,” Drury said. “I have become much more aggressive as of recently and [I’m] playing with a lot more confidence.”
Three days later, the Shoremen would fall to Ursinus as the Bears shot for 53 points in the second half after being held to just 36 points in the first. They would shoot 56 percent for the game.
“We needed to play much better team defense,” Drury said. “It’s hard to win when you give up 80 plus points.”
Drury would prove to be pivotal for the second game in a row. The freshman shot for 19 points and took down four boards as well. Junior guard John Weston would match his career-high 22 points on the night while fellow junior guard Sean Brooks notched 14 points and didn’t commit a single turnover.
With 1:32 to go in the game, the Shoremen cut the lead to five points with a three pointer from Brooks. But the Bears would then go on to score 10 of the next 12 points of the game to win 89-76.
The Shoremen head into the final week of their season with matchups against Swarthmore and Johns Hopkins. They’ve previously beaten Swarthmore in a nail-biting 73-68 win, in which Morgan knocked down five three-pointers, including the game-sealing three with 44 seconds remaining.
That performance wasn’t the same as the previous Johns Hopkins game, as they lost 63-91 on Jan. 22. The team was outrebounded 21-43, so that will be a key factor that they’ll look to improve upon.
In spite of their loss, a month will have passed since they last played, and the Shoremen will be energized, playing for pride and the chance to finish their season on a strong note.
In both the Haverford and Ursinus games, the Shoremen lost by a narrow margin. They have the ability to score 80 plus points a game, though they’ve only crested 90 points once.
If they plan to exit the season with a bang, they’re going to need to score upwards of 180 points between the two games.
The Shoremen’s best game of the season came on Nov. 23 against Muhlenberg with a 104-99 overtime win. In that game, five Shoremen scored 10 or more points, including 21 points from Pat Morgan.
Despite their epic performance, the momentum they carried from that game dissipated when they failed to score more than 57 points against McDaniel on Nov. 26 in a 57-53 loss.
Bouncing back, the Shoremen delivered a crushing victory over Haverford on Dec. 3, winning 76-47. However, in their most recent matchup they fell by six points.
The Shoremen have had big games this season. They have had moments where they win the day with authority, but they have also faced intense adversity, failing to rise to the occaision for a big win.
With the season wrapping up on Saturday Feb. 22 against Johns Hopkins, expect the Shoremen to play with a chip on their shoulder.
Johns Hopkins is the heavy favorite having beaten the Shoremen earlier in the season 91-63, but with their pride on the line expect a big game.