By Koppany Jordan
Elm Staff Writer
Filling up almost all the seats in the Cain Athletic Center student section, a crowd of fans came to supportthe 100th season for men’s basketball on Nov. 17. Having had a successful 99th season, the Shoremen came to prove that this season would be no different.
Led by Coach Rob Nugent, the team came ready to face the Hampden- Sydney Tigers and get the season going right. The first game of the season pitted the Shoremen against a team they haven’t met since the 1975-1976 season, when Washington College won by three points. (info from WashingtonCollegeSports.com).
A young team, the Shoremen came out to face a team that had more experienced players that was ranked 25 in the nation according to D3Hoops.com.
The game started with the Tigers taking a small lead that the Shoremen soon surpassed. The beginning of the game was back and forth, and a wide open matchup with few fouls.
As the game progressed the more experienced Tigers began to come around and capitalize on the mistakes made by the Shoremen. With turnovers and fouls, the Shoremen began to lose opportunities to score as everyone on the floor was growing tired. The Tigers kept pushing and wore down the young and inexperienced WC squad. The score was 56-21 at halftime.
For some in the crowd, the game appeared to be over as the Hampden- Sydney Tigers held a lead of 35 points. However, the Shoremen were not ready to concede just yet and seemed to strategize well during the break. The anticipation grew as people expected a better second half, while others in the away section expected a blow away win for the Hampden-Sydney Tigers.
As the next half opened, the Shoremen began to play a better, more organized game. Learning from their mistakes, they were able to keep the Tigers from dominating as they had in the first half. Hampden-Sydney began to foul more and the Shoremen began to pull their team together and regained momentum.
The Shoremen defense brought on dry spells for the Tigers, and they were able to narrow the score as Hampden- Sydney scored less and less. In the end it appeared that the Tigers were tired and the Shoremen were showing much more energy.
It was not enough, however, as the game ended with a score of 102-70. It was a tough loss for WC, but a good learning experience for many of the young players who are showing potential.
Leading the way on offense for the Shoremen in the game was sophomore guard John Weston, who dropped a personal-best 13 points. Sophomore guard Kevin Cunningham, senior forward Charlie McShane and guard Stephen Poarch all chipped in ten points as well. Poarch had a solid all-around game, leading the Shoremen in rebounds (4) and assists (4). There were bright spots in the tough loss, but just not enough to overcome the nationally ranked Tigers.
Improving defense and working on some offense, the Shoremen will be ready to face their next opponent, the Muhlenberg College, Mules on Dec. 1.