Section: Basketball

Lords win first game of the season, Ladies beat Allegheny

Lords win first game of the season, Ladies beat Allegheny

Grace Connery ’22 hit three key 3-pointers down the stretch in the Ladies’ win. | SEJIN KIM/KENYONSID/NCAA

Lords

The Lords basketball team earned their first win of the season against Grove City College (Pa.), 64-62, on Tuesday after they fell to Allegheny College (Pa.) 84-80 on Saturday. The win improved their record to 1-7 on the year.

After the Allegheny Gators opened the game with a 10-4 run, the Lords were able to keep the game close. The two teams exchanged baskets the rest of the first half. Kenyon briefly took the lead off of a 3-pointer from Anthony Testa ’24, before ending the half tied with Allegheny at 38. As the two teams traded scores, the Gators took the lead for the first three and a half minutes of the second half. A 3-pointer from Juan Sergio Matabuena ’25, who led the team in scoring with 16 points, tied the game at 52. The two teams battled for the lead for the remainder of the second half, but Allegheny ended up on top as the game clock hit zero in the fourth. The Gators’ Brian Roberts proved an insurmountable challenge for the Lords, finishing with 43 points and going 17-of-19  from the free throw line.

Matabuena emphasized the importance of a short memory heading into Tuesday’s game against the Grove City Wolverines. “Basketball is a next-possession game,” he said. “We know that we are in the fight for every game.” The Lords certainly showed that fight against the Wolverines, who took an early lead in the first half, but the Lords never allowed the game to get out of reach. Kenyon went into halftime down 32-29, but they knew they were in a good position to come back and secure the victory. 

With almost 14 minutes left in the second half, the Lords got their first lead of the game, going up 42-39. The Wolverines responded quickly, tying the game with a 3-pointer. The rest of the half was tightly contested, with Grove City even stretching their lead to nine points at one moment, but the Lords followed the advice their coach Dan Priest gave them: “It’s not about how you do something wrong, it’s about how you react to it.” With two-and-a-half minutes left in the game, the Lords took a 62-60 lead, before Grove City tied it with 25 seconds left to play. It was Miles Versa’s ’25 two free throws with five seconds on the clock that gave the Lords their first win of the season, a victory well appreciated by their home crowd of 225 fans.

The Lords will look to earn their first conference win on Thursday when they travel to Oberlin College to face the Yeomen. 

 

Ladies

Looking to rebound from a tough loss to Wittenberg University, the Ladies were able to earn a convincing win against Allegheny College, beating the Gators 81-67 on Saturday to improve to 3-6.

It was the Gators who struck first, going up 5-0 to start the game, but the Ladies were able to respond quickly. Their 15 unanswered points secured a lead that they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. The Gator redoubled their defensive efforts, forcing six turnovers, but the Ladies were able to hold strong as they ended the first quarter with an eight point lead. Katie Orefice ’23, who led the team in scoring with 23 points, attributed this success to a strong effort on both sides of the ball. “We were able to maintain focus on each individual play,” she said. 

Going into the second half, the game remained tight, with the Ladies up 34-27. There was  a two minute stretch in which both teams were held scoreless, after which the Gators closed the gap to 38-34. The Ladies then took command of the game. An Orefice layup pushed the Ladies’ lead to 11 with three minutes left in the quarter. However, thanks to a 14-2 run to end the third quarter, the Gators were within one at the end of the third quarter. Despite the run, the Ladies had saved their best for last, scoring a season-high 30 points in the fourth quarter. Grace Connery ’22 hit three 3-pointers during a 12-2 run, helping to seal the win for Kenyon.

The Ladies will next play Saturday at home against Denison University. Looking to build on their recent success, Orefice said the team will look to maintain the strong defense they brought against the Gators. “I think one thing to focus on for Saturday’s game is this same aggressiveness on defense which can lead to more offensive opportunities,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian.

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