Section: Basketball

Men’s basketball falls in Indiana, looks ahead to Hiram

Last weekend, the Kenyon men’s basketball team traveled to Greencastle, Indiana, to compete against DePauw University, hoping to replicate their defeat of the Tigers earlier in the season. Ultimately, the Owls could not secure the season sweep of DePauw and fell 76-58. Kenyon’s record now stands at 4-14 (2-7 NCAC).

Kenyon’s first and only lead of the game came within the first two minutes of competition when Murathan Kocaman ’27 sank a shot from behind the arc, making it 3-2. The Tigers immediately responded, but baskets from Nick Nelson ’26 and Connor Moss ’25 created a tie game for the Owls in the seventh minute of play. Some back and forth between the two teams and a jump shot from Gefen Bar-Cohen ’25 resulted in a one-point DePauw lead halfway through the first 20 minutes of play. After that, however, DePauw took control of the hardwood, going on a 22-12 run to lead by 11 at the half.

The Tigers were in complete control of the second half, leading by as many as 26 points. The Owls were able to close the gap slightly as time went on, cutting the Tigers’ lead to only 18 at the end of the game. Despite the score, Charlie Heywood ’27 had an excellent half, scoring seven points in a row for the Owls and recording a career-high seven rebounds. Another first-year on the team, Justin Gagnon ’27, racked up five points for the Owls.

Bar-Cohen was the leading scorer for the Owls once again, with 12 points on the day. Not far behind him were Kocaman and Moss, who recorded 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Owls committed 11 turnovers to the Tigers’ three, leading to 17 DePauw points off turnovers. In an email to the Collegian, Gagnon voiced the team’s disappointment with this statistic, writing, “We all feel like Saturday’s game against DePauw was lost due to a lack of defense. They only had three turnovers, which just goes to show that we weren’t showing much resistance.” The Tigers also outshot Kenyon from behind the arc, recording a 31.8% 3-point percentage to the Owls’ 19.2%. 

The Owls return to action on Saturday against the Hiram College Terriers on their home court. Kenyon will once again look to complete the season sweep and improve to 2-0 against the Terriers on the season after defeating them 72-68 in early December. Gagnon is hopeful for the upcoming game: “I think our mindset heading into Saturday’s game against Hiram is to be as tough as possible,” he said. “Last time we played them, our defense was impeccable, and we ended up winning the game. Pair that with an offense that is firing on all cylinders, and we should be able to blow this team out. It really starts with our toughness and mentality.” 

As the season nears its end, Gagnon is impressed with the team’s dedication in games and practices alike. “We are proud of the intensity and energy we have [shown] every day since the arrival of our new coaches. I’ve heard from all the returners that the practices from last year and years prior were a joke compared to this year’s practices, and that they have never had a coach push Kenyon basketball this hard,” he said. “I feel like we have done a great job responding to that challenge.” 

With a little under a month left in the season, the Owls hope to garner more success in their conference matchups leading into the NCAC tournament.

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