On Saturday, the Kenyon men’s basketball team faced off against the No. 5-ranked Wittenberg University Tigers in Kenyon’s Tomsich Arena. The Lords got out to a fast start when Ryan O’Neil ’20 opened the game with a steal that led to a fastbreak score, sparking a 7-0 run. Kenyon was able to maintain this lead throughout most of the first half by shooting an impressive 43.3 percent from the field. Ugnius Zilinskas ’21 led the offense during the half with eighteen points.
Despite this strong offensive performance, the Lords were unable to put a comfortable gap between themselves and the Tigers, who never trailed by more than seven points throughout the first half. This was due in part to the Tigers’ strong offensive performance from beyond the arc. In the first half, Wittenberg converted 6 of 12 of their 3-point attempts.
With 4:43 left in the first half, the Tigers went up 25-24 after converting a Kenyon turnover into two easy fastbreak points. O’Neil was able to tie things up late at 32-32, but the Tigers responded by scoring four unanswered points and went into the second half up 36-32.
Wittenberg’s four-point lead quickly increased after the break. For six minutes, the Tigers went on a game-breaking 12-2 run. During that six-minute span, Kenyon’s previously steady offense remained notably silent, converting on only one field goal and turning over the ball a costly three times. This early run proved to be insurmountable for the Lords’ offense, who were able to come within nine points of the Tigers at multiple moments during the second half, but ultimately failed to close the gap in the second half. Wittenberg’s offense was lights out in the second half, converting 13 out of their 23 field goal attempts (56.5 percent) and 17 of their 19 free throw attempts. Ultimately, the Lords’ lack of ball security disrupted their offensive performance throughout the game: Wittenberg was able to score a total of 17 points off of turnovers (eight in the first half and nine in the second).
The Lords’ offense was led by Zilinskas, who scored 13 points and gathered nine rebounds. Ultimately, Zilinskas had a fairly productive afternoon, going 2-5 from beyond the 3-point arc, and 6-16 from the field. His teammates Powell and O’Neil were the Lords’ other leading scorers with thirteen and nine points respectively. Ultimately, they lost decidedly, 83-63.
Last night, the Lords lost to Hiram in a 92-95 shootout, falling just short in double overtime. With 46 seconds to go in the second overtime, Nick Lewis ’23 hit a 3-pointer to tie the game 92-92. After a timeout, Hiram’s Sherman Dean III, who finished with 29 points, was fouled on the go-ahead jumpshot for Hiram and hit the and-one free throw. This put the Terriers up for good.
With this loss, the Lords drop to 6-16 on the year, with a conference record of 3-12. Currently, the Lords are in last place in NCAC standings, while Wittenburg now leads the NCAC at 13-1. Their next game will be a home match against Wabash College this Saturday at 3 p.m.