Men’s basketball struggles on the road in back-to-back games

Justin Schaumberger, Senior Writer

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The Bison men’s basketball team saw their five-game winning streak snap at the hands of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. on Feb. 16 and suffered their second consecutive road loss to Colgate on Feb. 19.

 

The Bison trailed by four points with 90 seconds to go in the game against Holy Cross before Avi Toomer ’20 hit a big three-pointer to cut the lead to one. After a big defensive stop, Kimbal Mackenzie ’19 knocked down a go-ahead three-pointer off an assist from Andrew Funk ’22 with nine seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, the Crusaders drained a three to take back a one-point lead. Mackenzie was then called for a charge in what would prove to be the Orange and Blue’s final chance. The Crusaders’ three-pointer secured the 72-71 victory for Holy Cross.

 

Mackenzie, who scored 16 points, and Nate Sestina ’19 who scored 17 points and collected 15 rebounds, led the way for the Bison offensively despite both struggling in the first half. The dynamic duo was limited to only one field goal apiece in the first half, but other players picked up the slack to keep fighting.

 

Displaying dynamic offensive and defensive strength off the bench this season, John Meeks ’21 contributed positively when he entered the game, adding seven points and six rebounds as the Bison bench outscored Holy Cross’ bench 22-11.

 

“We are a very deep team with a lot of talents and Coach Davis knows how to use them very well,” Meeks said. “Being this late in the season, we all know our roles and it is our job to do them.”

 

Turnovers proved to be a massive issue for the Bison, as they turned the ball over 23 times to Holy Cross’ 11, gifting their opponent with extra possessions. Additionally, the Bison were called for 23 fouls, which resulted in two players fouling out and 26 free throws for the Crusaders.

 

The Bison looked to bounce back on Feb. 19 but lost a tough game to Colgate 75-64 in Hamilton, N.Y. The Bison struggled for stretches of the game, falling behind by as many as 14 points. They managed to cut into the Colgate lead and make it a four-point game with 5:30 minutes to go in the second half, but could not get any closer.

 

Toomer led the Bison in scoring, knocking down four three-pointers on his way to 16 points. Mackenzie and Sestina both reached double figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively. The Raiders limited the Orange and Blue to 36.9 percent from the field and outrebounded them 42-33.

 

Despite the back to back losses, the team still controls their own fate in the Patriot League. With three games remaining, the Bison are tied with Lehigh for the top spot, but the Orange and Blue hold the tiebreaker, should the standings remain unchanged. The Bison will look to end their first multi-game league losing streak since 2016 against Lafayette on Feb. 24. The game will tip at 2 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion.

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