Men’s Basketball Back In Playoff Contention with 60-48 Win Over McDaniel

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Garnet Guard Matt Allen '10. Photos by Allison Ranshous.
Garnet Forward Danny Walker '10.
Garnet Guard Matt Allen '10.
Garnet Center Eugene Prymak '13 (left) and Garnet Forward Marc Rogalski '12 (right).

Just four days after defeating the Gettysburg Bullets (9-8, 7-4 CC), then the top team in the Centennial Conference, the Swarthmore Garnet men’s basketball (5-13, 4-7 CC) team continued its recent stretch of strong play, earning its first winning streak of the year in Wednesday night’s victory over the McDaniel Green Terror (8-9, 4-6 CC) with a final score of 60-48 at Tarble Pavilion.

Trailing by one point at the half, the Garnet used a strong second half surge to take command of their first match of the year against McDaniel. Coming out of halftime, Swarthmore used an 11-3 run to take control of the game. Clutch 8-10 free throw shooting helped to ice the game in the final 1:15 of play.

Freshmen continued to provide key contributions in Wednesday’s game, as they have been all season long for the Garnet. Will Gates ’13 scored a game-high 17 points and added 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double. Eugene Prymak ’13 added 10 points off the bench, including eight after halftime.

In improving their record to 4-7 in the Centennial Conference, the Garnet has already doubled its conference win total from last year. The Garnet last won four conference games in a season in 2006-2007 when they finished 8-10 in Centennial Conference play.

The first half of play was a back-and-forth affair as senior Matt Allen, who scored a season-high 14 points, drained two threes. The Garnet shot 4-7 from behind the arc as a team.

But it was the Garnet defense that propelled the team to victory. Swarthmore held McDaniel to just 4-19 shooting from three and 33% (17-51) from the field. McDaniel managed just 23 second-half points as the Garnet held an opponent below 50 points for the first time this year after holding the Gettysburg Bullets to 51 points on Saturday.

McDaniel’s second-leading scorer, Michael Jerboa, was held without a point on 0-5 shooting as the Garnet defeated the Green Terror for the first time since 2007. McDaniel led 40-39 midway through the second half before Matt Allen ’10 and Prymak scored four consecutive points for Swarthmore to pull the home-standing Garnet back ahead.

With the win, the Garnet has pulled itself right back into playoff contention in the Centennial Conference. Seven conference games remain, including one each against five of the seven teams ahead of the Garnet in the Conference standings. Swarthmore, with a strong finish, can challenge for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Centennial Conference just one year after finishing 2-16 in Conference play.

The Garnet improved to 4-3 on their home court this year. They return to action on Saturday when they visit Lancaster, PA to take on the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats. Their brief two-game road trip concludes next Wednesday at Muhlenberg.

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