Categorized | Sports

Men’s basketball stages comeback, women fall to Kenyon

Chloe Burdette
Contributing Writer

Wooster men’s and women’s basketball faced the Kenyon Lords and Ladies on Wednesday, Feb. 14. While the women suffered a defeat of 77-60, the men pulled out an epic victory against the Lords with a final score of 81-79.

The Kenyon College women’s basketball team was ready from the jump and cruised to a North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) win, defeating The College of Wooster on their home court by the score of 77-60. Kenyon got off to a hot start, scoring the game’s first eight points and later racing out to leads of 18-4 and 28-12. The Ladies had a 30-17 lead after one quarter and a 50-32 advantage at the break.

Deep into the third quarter, Kenyon had a lead as large as 29 points. Wooster, led with 15 points by Sarah Rapacz ’21 and helped by Anna Gibbs ’19 and Kylie Orr ’20 who both chipped in with 11 points apiece, outscored Kenyon 21-9 in the fourth quarter to bring its final deficit down to 17. Gibbs also led the team with five assists, and Maria Janasko pulled down a team-leading seven rebounds to accompany her eight points.

With the win, Kenyon improved to 19-5 and 12-3 in NCAC play while Wooster dropped to 6-18 and 4-11 in the conference.

The Wooster men’s team uncharacteristically struggled with Kenyon for most of the night before finally avoiding the monumental upset. The Fighting Scots came back from a 15-point deficit over the final 12 minutes of the game and defeated Kenyon College 81-79.

The first half was closely contested as there were seven lead changes in the first 10 minutes of the game. Wooster’s biggest advantage came at the 10 minute mark when Blake Blair ’19 hit a contested three-pointer, making the score 14-9. But in the final 10 minutes in the first half, the Lords played inspired basketball, outscoring the Scots 27-15. At halftime, the Lords led 36-29.

As the game progressed into the second half, Kenyon led by as much as 15 points with a score of 55-40.

Shortly after the start of the second half, Reece Dupler ’19 hit a bucket that marked his 1,000th career point, becoming the 43rd player to reach the milestone in the history of the college.

“To be a part of that history is something special,” said Dupler. “I think I’ll be able to better reflect on what it means in time. I could not have achieved this milestone without the endless support from my teammates, coaches and probably most importantly my parents.”

At the 8:28 mark, Kenyon still led by double digits, 65-55, but Wooster began to make their run. Over the next five minutes, the number 16-ranked Fighting Scots mounted a 14-4 run to tie the game at 69.

During that span, Kenyon shot 1-for-9 while Wooster shot 4-for-7 and converted five free throws. Kenyon briefly got the lead back at 71-69 but two possessions later saw Danyon Hempy ’20 hit a three from the corner to give the Scots a 72-71 lead.

After a Kenyon turnover, Spencer Williams ’18 nailed a jumper, and after a Lords timeout, a Hempy steal and dunk pushed the Scots lead to 76-71 with 30 seconds remaining. Five more free throws for the Scots and a uncontested three-ball at the buzzer for the Lords ended the scoring as the Scots came out victorious by an 81-79 score.

After the well deserved win, Wooster improved to 20-4 and 14-3 in NCAC play while Kenyon dropped to 7-17 and 4-13 in the conference. Wooster’s streak over Kenyon has reached epic proportions as this was the 51st consecutive win versus the Lords. Kenyon’s last win over the Scots was in March of 1995.

The Wooster men progress into the tournament as they host Depauw University for the quarterfinal at Timken Gymnasium on Feb. 20, and the Wooster women will take on the Kenyon Ladies once again for their quarterfinal game on Feb. 20 at Tomsich Arena in Gambier, Ohio. Go Fighting Scots!

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