The Kenyon College men’s basketball team’s season came to a close on the road last Saturday with a nail-biter against North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) opponent Allegheny College that came down to the final seconds and ended in a 76-75 Kenyon loss.
The contest was close from the tip-off. The Lords led 40-39 at halftime, but then Allegheny went on an 11-2 run early in the second half. However, with 7:05 left in the half, Kenyon reclaimed the lead after Alex Cate ’20 scored on a tip-in.
The last 14 seconds of the game determined the outcome in a tightly contested match. Ugnius Zilinskas ’21 went in for a layup to give the Lords a 75-74 lead and was fouled on the play. He needed to convert the and-one opportunity in order to give the Lords a two-point lead, but missed the free throw, giving Allegheny an opportunity to regroup. The Gators ran down the court, where Brian Roberts Jr. was able to sink a short-range jumper and give Allegheny the lead, 76-75, with only four seconds left.
The Lords came up short of ending their season with a win by missing a short range shot at the buzzer. Cate and Christian Watanabe ’22 both finished with 10 points. Top performers for the Lords included Zilinskas, who finished the contest with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Matt Shifrin ’19 who finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Shifrin ends his career with a scoring average of 10.5 points per game on 42.7 shooting over the span of 93 games.
The Kenyon women’s basketball team dominated the Allegheny College Gators in the final game of their regular season Saturday, securing a 72-50 win, but on Tuesday, the Ladies suffered an upset to the Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) Battling Bishops in the first round of the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) tournament. The game ended with the score 63-52 and crushed the Ladies dream of hoisting the NCAC title.
Before their defeat to OWU, the Ladies played a tremendous game against Allegheny. Kenyon ended the first half with a 40-27 lead and did not let up in the second half. The Gators were never able to close the gap within 10 points, and only scored four points in the fourth quarter, none of which came in the last seven minutes.
Matijasich led the Ladies with 16 points and nine rebounds, both game highs. Matijasich ended the season averaging 15.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Ellie Schuab ’21 lit up the stat sheet as well, putting up 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Jessica Gerber ’19, Greta Propp ’22 and Grace Connery ’22 also scored in the double digits for the Ladies.
The Ladies’ defense was suffocating, as they out-rebounded the Gators 44-35 and held them to 28.6 percent shooting from the field.
The Ladies’ defense was not the problem on Tuesday night as they held the Battling Bishops to a 32.7 field goal percentage and 63 points. The biggest issue for Kenyon was their 30.2 field goal percentage.
The OWU defense made it tough on Kenyon all night and held leading scorer Matijasich to 10 points. The Ladies held a 34-33 lead with 3:22 remaining, but shortly after OWU went on an 18-6 run to end the third quarter and, ultimately, their season.