By: Andrew Chirico
To kick off the 2015-2016 season, the Washington College Men’s basketball team traveled to Widener University to participate in the ‘Widener Tip-Off for Autism-Awareness’. The Shoremen suffered an 82-72 loss in their first game against Widener on Friday night. Following their evening showdown came a Saturday afternoon game against Rowan University that ended in a 78-64 loss.
Host Widener sparked its offense quickly on WC, starting the game with a 16-2 run. The Pride four three-pointers in that large stretch of points. WC responded to Widener’s first punch as the offense found a lift, scoring eight unanswered points which eventually led to a 13-2 run, trimming the Widener lead down to two points.
Freshman Kevin McCormick helped the Shoremen stay close in the first half by scoring 11 points in five minutes of play in his debut as a Shoremen. Despite Widener’s large run to open the half, WC pared down the lead and headed into the half down 45-37.
The second half lead was cut down to 69-61 in favor of the Pride, but WC was unable to catch up further. Leading the offense in the final minutes of play was junior James Drury, scoring 16 points in the final half. Unfortunately for WC, Drury was the only player to score in double-digits in the second half.
Drury led in scoring for the game with 18 points. Following was McCormick with 13 points off the bench. Senior Dave Knox led the team with nine rebounds and four assists. The Shoremen were able to force 18 turnovers against Widener, but Widener’s hot start was not able to be overcome. “We have to come out ready to play and can’t have slow starts and playing to catch up,” said Knox.
The Shoremen were then placed in a consolation game versus Rowan University that next day. The fourteen point loss was contributed by a 19-5 run produced by the Profs in the second half. Before the run, the game was tied at 46-46 with just under 17 minutes to go.
Leading WC against Rowan was senior Pat Morgan with 18 points. Morgan was also named to the All-Tournament team at the ‘Widener Tip-Off for Autism Awareness’ Tournament.
Head Coach Aaron Goodman sees many positives along with room for improvement after the first two games and is confident the team can make the necessary changes to have a better turnout in the future.
“We showed the ability to fight back when we’re down like in the Widener game. We also came out strong in the second half in the Rowan game. So that says to me we have the resolve and resiliency necessary to be competitive and win, we just need to do it for 40 minutes,” said Goodman. “We need to embrace the physicality and toughness it takes to win a college basketball game. To that end, our defensive rebounding, hustle effort, and transition defense needs to improve. We are capable and I know we will make the changes.”