Section: Sports

Losses put Lords on the wrong side of conference tournament

Losses put Lords on the wrong side of conference tournament

Cora Markowitz, Collegian

By Ben Payner

At this time last week, the Lords faced critical upcoming games against Oberlin and Allegheny Colleges. Wins against both would have them sitting in fourth place in the conference and in line to host a home game in the conference tournament for just the second time in five years. After losing contests versus both Oberlin and Allegheny the Lords now find themselves outside the conference tournament at 6-13 overall and 4-8 in conference. With six games left and sitting out of eighth place via a tiebreaker, there is still time for the Lords to get back into the postseason picture, but they need a spark. Someone needs to step up, especially on the offensive end, where the Lords have been colder in recent games than a Gambier winter.

On Jan. 28 the Lords fell at Oberlin 62-50. Cold shooting coupled with a bad start doomed the Lords from the onset. With the game tied at 4-4 after two minutes of play, Oberlin went on a 13-2 run over the next eight minutes and took control of the game with an 11-point lead. Although the Lords cut the deficit to six with two minutes left in the first half, they went into the half trailing by 10 points. The second half was more of the same as the Lords closed the lead to six early on and never got closer than eight points from the lead over the final 12 minutes. Tim Connolly ’16 led the Lords with 16 points on 5-14 shooting. John Bray ’15 added 13 points on 4-8 shooting. Cooper Handelsman ’15 was the only other Lord to score more than five points.

The statistics in this game were telling. The Lords got outrebounded 39-24 and shot 37.5 percent, which includes going 0-9 from the 3-point line. The Yeomen outscored the Lords by 20 in the paint (42-22), 11 in second-chance points (13-2) and nine in bench points (15-6). Oberlin outplayed the Lords in every facet of the game.

The Allegheny game was perhaps even more difficult to swallow, a 59-56 home loss.  Although they played a better overall game, poor shooting once again led to the Lords’ demise. As a team the Lords went 20-63 from the field (31.7 percent) including 3-20 (15 percent) from three. Connolly, Bray and Handelsman struggled to get it going offensively, combining for 25 points and shooting 9-31 (29 percent), including 0-8 from beyond the arc. A lone bright spot for the Lords was first-year backup center Phillip Crampton ’18, who took advantage of Brien Comey’s ’16 foul trouble to register new career highs in minutes (20), points (12) and rebounds (5).

Team leaders Handelsman and Connolly are doing their best to keep everyone focused. “We just have to stay focused on being positive and fixing our mistakes to make us better,” Handelsman said. “We still have a third of the conference season left so if we learn from these games and make adjustments we can win some important games down the stretch.”

Connolly echoed his sentiment. “The losses are tough, but we’re moving forward because from here on out every game means something and every win becomes more important this time of year,” he said.

Last night the Lords fell short of a victory over the College of Wooster Fighting Scots. The close game ended in a 93-91 Lords loss.

An earlier version of this article said that the Lords 93-91 loss to the College of Wooster Fighting Scots was to the Oberlin College Yeomen. The Collegian regrets the error. 


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