Gator defense dominates over Oberlin

Forward Tritto puts up career-high 16 points in impressive victory Wednesday

By MATT MASCOLO
Staff Writer
[email protected]

James Ness, '12, helped lead the Gators over Oberlin with 19 points and 11 rebounds. CHARLIE MAGOVERN/THE CAMPUS
Behind a strong defensive performance, the men’s basketball team defeated the Yeomen of Oberlin College with a final score of 64-44 at home Wednesday night.

The Gators forced nine turnovers and held Oberlin to 30 percent from the field shooting. Sophomore Clark Tritto led the defensive effort, tallying three steals and four blocks. The starting forward also scored a career-high 16 points on the night of his 20th birthday.

Tritto credited the defense for the blowout victory.

“We go back and do the same thing every practice, keep it pretty consistent,” said Tritto. “We guarded them really well. Guys were helping me make the plays.”

“We worked hard the past two days and I thought we did a good job defending the dribble,” said Head Coach Jim Driggs. “We made [Andrew] Fox take some bad shots, he got his average of 15 points, but on 19 shots, so I think Clark [Tritto] and Bobby [Theiss] did a really good job defending.”

Freshman Gabe Seidman drives to the basket. Seidman is part of a young group on the men's basketball squad that has impacted recent matchups. Against the Yeomen, Seidman scored seven points. CHARLIE MAGOVERN/THE CAMPUS
Andrew Fox, Oberlin’s leading scorer, is a 32 percent three point shooter for the season, but the Gators forced him to shoot 0-7 beyond the arc.

“We’re not a big team, so we can’t afford to give up open shots,” said junior guard Devone McLeod. “We have to really strap down and get into guys and force turnovers. A small team has to be very aggressive.”

Allegheny has struggled to stay out of foul trouble this season, especially the front court front court of James Ness, ’12, and Tritto, creating disadvantages in the paint. Ness and Tritto stayed out of foul trouble all night and produced in a big way, combining for 35 points, 16 rebounds, and shooting 75 percent from the field. With the two starting forwards in for most of the game, Allegheny was able to control Oberlin down low, outscoring the Yeoman 40-16 in the paint.

“When I come out of the game it’s a lot tougher because we don’t have a big post person down inside,” said Ness. “Today, I tried to stay away from the cheap fouls and keep a level head, so that we could keep running the off ense and keep getting rebounds.”

Sophomore Clark Tritto, who celebrated h is 20th birthday Wednesday night, scored a career-best 16 points against Oberlin at home. CHARLIE MAGOVERN/THE CAMPUS
“Lately it’s either been me or Ness in foul trouble,” Tritto said. “We haven’t had the chance to really work together and it went real well tonight for us.”

The Gators led 36-19 at half after McLeod hit a jumper with two seconds left on the clock. The junior guard finished with eight points and six assists. A lot of those assists came from getting out in transition after Oberlin’s missed shots and turnovers.

“We are always conscience of the tempo of the game,” McLeod said. “If we need to get out and go, we’ll get out and go. We got a lot of fast breaks and we capitalized on them.”

Oberlin’s only lead came within the first minute of the game, when Fox hit a midrange jumper. The Gators’ David DiBernardi, ’14, hit a three pointer with 17:50 to go in the first half and the Gators would not surrender that lead the rest of the game. This game marks the second time Allegheny has faced Oberlin this year, overcoming an earlier loss at the buzzer on the road back in early January.

The Gator men’s basketball team will head to Springfield, Ohio this Saturday to face the Wittenberg Tigers. The Tigers come in after an NCAC victory over Ohio Wesleyan.

Allegheny dropped its first game to Wittenberg in Meadville earlier this year, 65-54. The game tips off at 1 p.m. on Saturday.