Men’s Basketball splits the weekend

Spartans crush Allegheny but fall to Denison

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Men’s Basketball splits the weekend

The Men’s Basketball team swept the tournament before losing to Denison this week.

The Men’s Basketball team swept the tournament before losing to Denison this week.

Observer Archives

The Men’s Basketball team swept the tournament before losing to Denison this week.

Observer Archives

Observer Archives

The Men’s Basketball team swept the tournament before losing to Denison this week.

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The men’s basketball team split last weekend against Allegheny College and Denison University. The team sits at 4-2 on the season and is 3-1 in its last four games.

The Spartans kicked off play against State University of New York at Fredonia in the Greg Richards Memorial Tip-Off Classic hosted by Allegheny College. The Spartans handily won by a score of 85-74. The Spartans then took on the hosts, Allegheny College, and the Spartans were en route to an overpowering 96-79 win to sweep the tournament.

The Spartans’ fourth-year guard Matt Clark exploded for a career-high 27 points to go along with a team high of three steals in the contest. Clark shot five for six from long range to help the Spartans shoot 57.1 percent overall, a season best. The Spartans led 25-8 at one point in the contest before Allegheny cut to lead to seven at the half with the Spartans leading 50-43.

After the Spartans increased their lead to 10 in the opening minutes of the second half, the lead would never again dip below nine as the team cruised to the victory. Fourth-year guard Jimmy Holman scored 19 points in the win and was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

In their second game of the week the Spartans lost a heartbreaker to Denison University 80-79. The game was back and forth, with the Spartans occasionally building leads only to see the Big Red fight back to within a few points.

Clark led the scoring with 20 points but it was not enough to propel the Spartans to victory. After a back and forth first half the Spartans found themselves ahead 41-36. The Spartans were able to extend their lead to 47-36 early in the second half.

The Big Red battled back, tying the game at 62 with 10 minutes left to play. Neither team was able to build a lead as the score was tied 79-79 with two minutes left in the game. A late free throw put the Big Red up 79-80 in the final seconds and the Spartans weren’t able to hit the go ahead shot as time expired. Clark has been crucial for the Spartans thus far.

When asked about his expectations for the season, Head Coach Sean McDonnell said, “We have very high expectations for Matt. He is a senior, a captain and he has plenty of big-game experience. We need Matt to play great defense, score efficiently and get others involved.”

When asked about his team’s overall play this season so far, McDonnell said, “It was great to get two wins at Allegheny, but we needed to follow up those results with a win over Denison and we failed to do so.”

The Spartans will need to continue to make improvements in order to have a chance at winning the conference this year. The team will play Adrian College at home on Dec. 5 at 5 p.m.