Section: Sports

Lords basketball team continues to struggle in NCAC play

Lords basketball team continues to struggle in NCAC play

Matt Shifrin ’19 looks for the pass during Senior Day, a 87-70 loss against Wittenberg. | COURTESY OF KENYON COLLEGE ATHLETICS

This week, the Lords basketball team continued their 15 game North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) losing streak with a 87-70 home loss against Denison University on Saturday, and a 105-67 loss Wednesday night at No. 13 The College of Wooster. Both four-year starter Matt Shifrin ’19 and Tim Black ’19 were honored before the Denison game as a part of the Lords’ Senior Day programming.

Denison dominated the game, never letting the Lords within 10 points of them the entire second half. Thirteen of their players got on the scoresheet, as the Tigers’ bench outscored the Lords 36-20. Guard Jack Coulter was unstoppable throughout, scoring 17 points and shooting 5 of 7 from deep. The Big Red shot 54 percent from beyond the 3-point line overall and missed just three shots in the final 14 minutes of the first half.

Despite allowing their fair share of points, the Lords were fairly effective offensively. Carter Powell ’20 played one of his best games of the season, leading the team in scoring with 16 points while also racking up seven rebounds and four steals. Shifrin also produced offensively, finishing with 13 points, including three 3s, while Elijah Davis ’22 added 12 points in 28 minutes.

In the end, Denison’s lights-out shooting was the Lords’ downfall: The road team shot 57 percent overall, while Kenyon made just 37 percent of its attempts and only 29 percent from long range. Although Kenyon forced Denison into 14 turnovers and recorded 22 of their points off those mistakes, but the Lords couldn’t get consistent stops on the defensive end. Despite cutting the deficit to 31-24 late in the first half, Denison keep applying pressure that would ultimately lead to a 87-70 Big Red victory.

On Wednesday, the Lords traveled to Wooster as heavy underdogs. The NCAA D-III 13th-ranked Fighting Scots entered with an 11-1 NCAC record, while the Lords came in 0-12. Unfortunately for the Lords, the game got out of hand quickly as the Scots led the Lords 51-39 at halftime. From that point on events only got worse for the Lords, who had trouble putting together any offense in the second half. The Scots opened the half on a 33-7 run, putting the game too far out of reach for the Wooster coach to keep his starting players in for the rest of the half. As the game wore on only the final buzzer could save the Lords as they lost 105-67.

Despite the lack of team success, Powell continued his incredible offensive stretch of games as he continues to develop into one of the NCAC’s premier players. He continued his streak with double-digit points to five games, averaging 17.4 points per game in those contests.

Although reamining winless with only five games remaining in the conference, the Lords are still only three games out of the final NCAC tournament spot. However next week they will travel to third-place Wittenberg University on Feb. 2 at 1 p.m. and host sixth-place Hiram College Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. If they were to lose those next two games, the Lords would officially be eliminated from the NCAC tournament for the second year in a row.

Adam Schwager contributed reporting.

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