By Ben Payner
A strong team effort from both starters and the reserves helped the Lords basketball team get its first postseason win since 2009. On Tuesday night. The Lords 77-72 win over Wabash College in their quarterfinal matchup.
I would say weve made earning a home game in the conference tourney a goal each year, Brian Lebowitz 14 said. Emotions were high, and we used this emotion as a team to come together. A lot of people, especially some of our younger players, really stepped up, and I think weve come a long way as a program.
The win moved them into the semifinals of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) tournament. The Lords will square off against Ohio Wesleyan University on Friday, Feb. 22 at 6:00 p.m. at the College of Wooster.
Lebowitz paced the Lords with 22 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks on an efficient 8-14 from the field and 6-7 from the stripe. Ikenna Nwadibia 14 scored 14 points, and his best play came during a critical 18-4 Lords run early in the second half during which he scored eight points. The teams reserves stepped up their play on Tuesday as well. Brien Comey 16, Dan Voigt 15 and Cooper Handelsman 15 contributed 19 points on 8-14 shooting.
The two teams played a tight first half, but the Lords exploded on an 18-4 run at the start of the second, and the score was 50-33 Kenyon with 12:49 left to play. Wabash fought back, cutting the lead down to nine with just over four minutes to play. Some questionable refereeing allowed Wabash to cut the lead to just three points with less than 10 seconds to go. Jonathan Amador 15 was fouled after receiving the inbounds pass and drained his seventh and eighth points of the night to seal the victory. In the second half, the team shot 52 percent (13-25) from the field and managed to get to the free-throw line 25 times, knocking down 18.
Head Coach Dan Priest was proud of his team after the big win. I was very happy for our players tonight. They showed great resiliency and teamwork, he said. Wehave made significant progress as a program by hosting a NCAC tournament game and advancing to the final four teams.We have received contributions from every single member of the team, which is great to see.
Priest said that playing Ohio Wesleyan on Friday will be a challenge, but he thinks the Lords have what it takes to beat them: Ohio Wesleyan is a nationally-ranked team for a reason: they have great players and a great coach and they will present a tremendous challenge, but I like the way our team is playing right now, and I am confident we are ready to play in a game of this magnitude.
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