Men’s basketball loses at American, beats Navy to regain first

Justin Schaumberger, Staff Writer

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The Bison men’s basketball team saw their five-game winning streak snapped at the hands of American in a 76-68 loss on Jan. 26 in Washington, D.C. They bounced back with a 69-57 win against Navy in Sojka Pavilion on Jan. 30. The Orange and Blue move to an overall record of 13-8, 7-2 in the conference. Despite the loss, the team recaptured sole possession of first place in the Patriot League, 0.5 games ahead of Lehigh.

 

After American opened the game with a quick 15-1 run, the Orange and Blue were never able to fully recover, missing their first seven shots from the field. The team had a weak first half, shooting 6-26 and trailed by as many as 16 points. The Eagles’ lead was trimmed to 11 points after a 5-0 Bison run going into halftime.

 

Another Bison comeback seemed to be in the cards after a 14-6 run to cut the lead to six with under five minutes remaining but they could not finish shots in their next three possessions. After Nate Sestina ’19 made one of two free throws, the Bison got a stop and fed Sestina, who had a mismatch against an American guard, in the post. However, Sestina was called for a charge on the ensuing post move, and the referee went on to issue two technical fouls on the Orange and Blue.

 

American would go on to make all four free throws and then scored a layup on the next possession to extend their lead back to 11. The Bison had one last-ditch effort in the final two minutes, cutting a 13-point American lead down to four with 30 seconds remaining, but they could not complete the rally.

 

Three Bison scored in double figures, with Sestina leading the way with 13 points. Bruce Moore ’20 contributed his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds while Andrew Funk ’22 provided a spark off the bench with ten points. Kimbal Mackenzie ’19, Jimmy Sotos ’21, and Nate Jones ’19 combined to dish out 13 assists.

 

It was a physical game, with both teams combining to commit 51 total fouls and four players fouling out. American was able to make the most of this by racking up 45 total free throws to the Bison’s 25, outscoring the Orange and Blue by 14 points from the charity stripe.

 

Mackenzie and Avi Toomer ’20 paced the Bison against Navy on Jan. 30 with 14 points apiece. Paul Newman ’21 added eight points and seven rebounds to the winning effort.

 

“In the first half I felt we came out with great intensity, holding them to only 21 points. We were focused and got some good shots on the offensive end. In the second half, we didn’t have the same focus on the defensive end, said Moore. Despite this, we displayed some good moments that allowed us to win.”

 

The Bison will be back in action on Feb. 2 when they take on Lafayette at 2 p.m. in Easton, Pa.

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