In a dominant offensive showing, the Lords ended their losing streak with a 97-78 victory over Allegheny College. As a team, the Lords shot over 50 percent from both the field and from three point range. In the victory, center Philip Crampton ’18 scored a game-high 24 points while Matt Shifrin ’19 added 22 points.
Despite an offensive outburst from several of their key players, the Lords dropped what was their Saturday afternoon game to Denison University, 93-90. The loss was their third in a row and their 10th in the past 11 games.
Saturday’s loss was also the second time the Lords have been unable to pull off a win in a competitive game against Denison. On Dec. 2, the Lords lost 84-83 in triple overtime at home against the Big Red, despite holding several late leads both in regulation and in each of the overtime periods.
While the loss against Denison earlier in the year was a game defined by defense, this recent loss was anything but that, as both teams scored more points than they did in the previous matchup in 15 fewer minutes.
In the loss, four Lords scored in double digits but Denison guard Maxwell Siwik led the game with 35 points on 11/19 shooting and 7/12 shooting from deep. Guard Matt Shifrin led the Lords with 19 points and five assists. Big man Phillip Crampton chipped in with 17 points, while Alexander Powell ’18 and Will Sigl ’18 added 12 and 13 points, respectively.
The Big Red jumped out to 24-18 lead about nine and a half minutes into the game, but the Lords stormed back, reclaiming the lead and going on to hold a 42-39 advantage going into halftime. The Lords’ scoring momentum continued into the early stages of the second half, as they extended their lead to 10 after first-year guard Ugnius Zilinskas hit a jumper with 10 and a half minutes left in the game to put the Lords up 62-52.
Just as they did in the Dec. 2 game, Denison did not go down without a fight, scoring 31 points in the final 10 minutes to steal another game from the Lords. A buzzer beating three by Zilinkas made the final score appear closer than it was.
With the end of the regular season less than a month away, the Lords are on the outside looking in regarding a spot in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) playoffs. Prior to Wednesday’s win against Allegheny, the Lords were in a three-way tie for last place with Allegheny and Oberlin College with their NCAC record of 2-8. Their Wednesday night victory puts them in the eighth seed and in position to make the playoffs.
Only two teams will miss the playoffs, so Sigl understands the necessity of winning several of their remaining games. “We really need to win … especially the ones against teams at the bottom of the standings like Allegheny and Oberlin,” Sigl said, prior to their game against Allegheny. “If we lose to one of these teams then we lose the tiebreaker, so it’s essentially like losing two games.”
The Lords will play next on Jan. 27, when they will travel to Crawfordsville, Ind. to take on Wabash University, which currently has a two-game lead on Kenyon in the NCAC standings.