Elm Staff Writer
After edging out Elizabethtown College in a nail-biting 73-71 win during their first home game on Tuesday, Nov. 13, the Washington College Men’s Basketball team was able to plunge head first into a highly competitive non-conference tournament in Cleveland, Ohio.
The first game on the Shoreman’s schedule took place on Friday, Nov. 16 versus the Keystone Giants, a small, private college from Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The two teams faced off in Horsburgh Gymnasium, where the Shoremen ultimately rose victorious after shutting out the Giants in a 80-56 win.
The game began with a 5-5 tie only two minutes into the match, the Shoremen quickly succeeded in capturing the lead, ending the first half with a 34-26 lead.
The Shoremen continued to make even greater strides as junior Alec Lewis was able to create a double-digit gap shortly into the second half and eventually led to their win, beating the Giants by a whopping 24 points.
Among the outstanding players of the match was Lewis, who scored a career-high 21 points and garnered his second career double-double with an additional 10 rebounds and junior Dallas Marshall who earned a career-high of six assists.
“I think together as a team we played very well. The game was pretty close in the first half, but then in the second half, we really locked down on defense and dominated the rebounding battle which I believe ultimately led to our big win,” Lewis said. “I think rebounding is going to be a key factor in the success of our team because like most teams in our conference, we are not very big but we are skilled offensively and defensively. If we can out rebound every opponent and stay locked in defensively, then I believe we will have a lot of success in our season.”
This game marked a 3-0 start to the Shoreman’s season; the best start the Shoremen have had since their 2003-2004 season.
After the Shoremen’s success in pool play, the team went on to the championship game of the tournament in a game Sat. Nov. 17, against host Case Western Reserve University.
The Shoremen, entering confidently with their unprecedented strong start, fell victim to a slow beginning against the Spartans as the halftime score ended with a 43-26 deficit for WC.
Junior Josh Porteous worked hard to bring the Shoremen back. He scored eight straight points in the second half to make the score 52-43. Senior Kevin McCormick scored a triple to make it 68-66.
Two free throws by the Spartans secured their win and the Shoremen’s loss not only of the game but of the tournament as well.
Junior Austin Allen, who scored a career-best 12 rebounds during the game, said, “I felt that we competed hard and never showed signs of giving up. It was a great experience because Case Western is a top team in their conference, so even though we lost by four, it will prepare us for upcoming conference play.”
Overall, the Shoremen’s split of the Sudeck tournament lead them to a strong 3-1 start to their season and would serve to prepare them for their first conference match against No. 13 Swarthmore College on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
The Shoremen fell to the Garnet 83-51, with Swarthmore pushing the pace for a majority of the game.
Swarthmore led 32-25 at halftime, and continued to have a double-digit lead over the Shoremen for the rest of the game.
Next up for the Shoremen is Centennial Conference opponent Ursinus College at home on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. Last season, the Bears overcame the Shoremen in both meetings by 10 or 12 point margins. The game will be played in Cain Gymnasium.