Section: Basketball

Men’s basketball starts season undefeated, women fall to 1-2

Men’s basketball starts season undefeated, women fall to 1-2

Testa leads the team in scoring with 39 points. | COURTESY OF ISOO O’BRIEN

Men’s basketball   

The Kenyon men’s basketball team continued its success to move their record to 3-0. After trailing throughout the first half, the Owls mounted a comeback win against the Earlham College (Ind.) Quakers before handily defeating the Grove City (Pa.) Wolverines.

In their home opener on Monday, the Owls found themselves down 8-0 less than four minutes into the game. Kenyon continued to struggle throughout the first half, as Earlham grew their lead to 14 points with seven and a half minutes to play in the frame. From there, though, the Owls took over, going on a 20-8 run to trail 33-31 at halftime. With the tide of the game turning, Kenyon took its first lead of the game when Nick Lewis ’23 sank a pair of free throws to put the Owls up 36-35. Kenyon never trailed again, leading by as much as 17 before winning the game 74-59. For Anthony Testa ’24, who led the Owls in scoring for the second game in a row, the game revealed the team’s ability to find their composure and dictate the terms of the game. “I think we did a good job of keeping our cool after going down early and did well to get back into the game,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian.

Prior to the game against Grove City, Testa remarked on the need for a consistent effort through the entire game. “We’ve gotten off to slow starts in our first two games, so that’s an area we could look to improve on,” he said. On Wednesday, the Owls jumped out to an early lead against the Wolverines, scoring the game’s first six points on the way to a wire-to-wire 60-50 win. Miles Versa ’25 led the team with 19 points, while Drew Valentino ’24 had 12 rebounds. 

The Owls will look to continue their unbeaten season when they travel to face Wilmington College on Saturday. Testa believes the team will continue to grow as the season goes on. “We just need to continue to find our groove offensively and stay locked in on the defensive end,” he said.

Women’s basketball

In its first two road games of the season, the Kenyon women’s basketball team was unable to continue its success. A dominant first half from Capital University sank the Owls, and a second-half comeback from Wilmington College moved Kenyon to 1-2.

On Saturday, the Owls traveled to Columbus, Ohio, to face the Comets. Though both teams struggled to generate much offense in a quiet first quarter, Capital was able to double up Kenyon to lead 10-5. The Owls came out of the gate hot in the second quarter, scoring the first five points of the period to tie the game at 10. From there, the Comets dominated, riding a 20-5 run to take a 30-15 lead at halftime. Though Kenyon outscored Capital 34-30 in the second half, the Comets won the game 60-49 on the strength of their first-half play. Alyssa Gest ’26, who had nine points and two rebounds in the game, believes the team can learn from the game. “I think we played well together as a collective group and that our intensity was consistent throughout the game,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We need to improve our composure on the floor and handling ball pressure, especially against quicker defenders.”

Kenyon and Wilmington traded the lead nine times in their game on Wednesday, with the Owls ahead 21-18 heading into the half. When the two teams returned from the break, the Quakers came alive, outscoring the Owls 35-22 in the latter 20 minutes on the way to a 53-43 victory.

The Owls will be off over Thanksgiving break, before they return to play against Earlham College (Ind.) on Nov. 30. As Kenyon’s season continues, Gest believes the team has the ability to develop as a unit and find success. “We must look for great shots instead of good shots and be in control of the game throughout all four quarters,” she said. “We also need to continue to trust each other and each player must dive into their roles this season.”

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