Men’s basketball faces loss on the road, wraps up season with playoffs

The Allegheny College men’s basketball team lost 98–78 to 23rd-ranked Denison University on Feb. 11.

Jordan Rawls, ’20, led the Gators with 22 points. Denison’s Jett Speelman, ’17, led all scorers with 27 points.

Allegheny received the opening tipoff, but Denison started the game with a 5–0 run before Rawls sunk a layup to make the score 5-2. However, Allegheny would remain behind for the entire game.

Rawls brought the halftime score to 44–34 with a layup off an assist by Liam Wilby, ’20.

Allegheny opened the second half with an 8–0 run, only to have Denison follow with a 15–2 run. While the second half would involve some controversial moments, including a double technical foul, the score stayed relatively stable. The Gators would not get within 11 points of Denison for the remainder of the game.

Jamison Nee, ’20, said he felt that the Gators did a good job with running their offense.

“We’ve been lacking that all year, and we were able to finally execute on the offensive end,” Nee said.

Nee said that while the team gave a strong offensive performance, he felt that the Gators needed to improve their defensive play.

“Some things that we’ve got to get better at, I’d say defensively, just making sure that we’re closing out under control, and just overall playing better defense, not allowing teams to score as many open points,” Nee said.

Head Coach Bob Simmons said that along with doing well offensively, the Gators were able to adapt during the game to Denison’s play.

“[They were] able to make in-game adjustments during timeouts, talking to guys on the bench [at] halftime. I thought they did a really nice job,” Simmons said.

However, Simmons said he did notice things that his team could improve on.

“We get beat too much off the dribble, and then we do such a good job helping that we leave the next guy open for an open shot, so we have to do a better job of guarding the basketball,” Simmons said.

Conor MacOmber, ’17, said the Gators understood before the game started that playing good defense would be crucial to a victory.

“If we were to beat them, we would have to play good [defense],” MacOmber said.

With 2:21 left in the game, Nee and Denison’s David Meurer, ’20, were called for offsetting technical fouls. Nee would stay in the game, scoring five points in the final two minutes.

The Gators will finish their season at home against Ohio Wesleyan University on Feb. 18. The game has the potential to decide whether or not Allegheny makes it into the NCAC championship tournament.

“We control our own destiny, as far as playoffs go,” Simmons said.