The Allegheny Men’s basketball team fell short to the Kenyon Lords’ 75-72 in overtime on Tuesday night.
The Gators had three players in double digits. Forward Brandon Smith, ’16, had a total of 20 points followed by Evan Zabriski, ’17, with 19 and Josh Valentic, ’15, with 15.
Allegheny fought for the lead with Kenyon in the first half, matching the Lords’ field goal percentage of 50. Smith scored the first points of the game with a layup allowing Allegheny to take the lead. The Lords didn’t allow the Gators to keep the lead for long when they answered Allegheny’s 4-0 run with a three point shot narrowing the Gators lead to one point.
The teams followed close behind each other fighting for the lead in the half. Zabriski made significant points in the first half to steal the lead from Kenyon. The sophomore forward posted a layup and picked up a foul putting the score at 10-5 in the beginning of the first half. Smith posted four back to back layups in two minutes in an attempt to maintain the lead against the Lords’.
“My teammates put me in a position to score,” Smith said.
Despite Smith being 7-7 in field goals with a total of 14 points, the Lords fought to steal the lead ending the first half with a score of 37-34.
“He’s our best low post threat,” coach James Driggs said.
Coming into the second half Smith posted four points allowing the Gators to follow closely behind the Lords with a score of 41-38. Connor Macomber, ’16, posted a three to tie the game at 41 just four minutes into the second half. The bulk of the second half of the game consisted of the Gators and the Lords swapping leads. The two teams never exceeded a three point advantage.
“The game turned into a rivalry,” Driggs said.
Late into the second half Valentic buried a three allowing the Gators to take the lead with just six minutes left in the game. Kenyon answered back taking the lead from Allegheny and with 33 seconds left, the Lords had a one point advantage.
“We played a good game but second chance points killed us,” Zabriski said.
Smith posted a total of six points in the second half before he was injured following a hard foul going up for a layup. Macomber went to the free throw line, burying one of two. His freethrow tied the Gators with the Lords, forcing the game to go into overtime.
The first points of overtime came from a pair of Zabriski free throws giving, Allegheny a two point advantage over Kenyon. Both teams went back and forth until eventually the score was tied 69 a piece with 2:26 left in overtime.
“They got so many baskets at the rim,” Driggs said.
Kenyon stole the lead but the Gators refused to go down when Evan Schweitzer ’16 buried a three putting the score at 75-72 with just 38 seconds left in the game. The Gators failed to surpass the Lords, ending the game with a final score of 75-72.