By Pat Mariboe
The Shoremen kept busy during winter break with three Centennial Conference matchups, which included a visit to the historic Palestra versus Dickinson.
Heading into the game against the Red Devils, the Shoremen had failed to win in 14 straight meetings against Dickinson. The Shoremen looked to break that losing streak in what many have referred to as The Cathedral of College Basketball.The gymnasium and arena is the home of the University of Pennsylvania Quakers in Philadelphia, Penn.
The Shoremen battled hard in the first half to take a 40-39 lead at halftime. With just seconds remaining in the second half, Dickinson scored a layup to tie the game up at 85 and sent the game to overtime. It was a similar ending as sophomore Austin Allen made a three pointer with 1.8 seconds remaining to send the game to double overtime. Washington College pulled away in the second overtime as they went on to win the game 111-103 and break the 15-year skid against the Red Devils.
“Playing at the Palestra was an experience I will cherish and never forget,” Allen said. “Knowing the history behind the Palestra and all the greats who have played there just made me realize how special it was to play there. To come out on the winning side was just another plus for me and the organization as well.”
Sophomore Alec Lewis, who finished with 12 points and four defensive rebounds, shared similar thoughts on the experience of playing on such a prolific stage.
“It was truly an amazing experience just being able to play there,” said Lewis. “It made it even better that we were able to take down a very good conference opponent in double overtime. It was just so much fun and I was glad I was able to share it with my brothers.”
It was also a memorable experience for another member of the WC Athletics family, Conner Fleegle, who had the pleasure of broadcasting the game.
“Playing at the Palestra was a fantastic opportunity for both the team and myself,” Fleegle said. “To get to sit courtside at the Cathedral of College Basketball and call a game in which we wind up grinding out a double overtime victory made it that much sweeter. But the experience as a whole was something that I’ll never forget.”
After the big victory, the Shoremen finished off their break with a trip to Johns Hopkins and a home game against Gettysburg. The Shoremen unfortunately couldn’t repeat their performance at the Palestra, as they came up short in both contests. The Blue Jays defeated the Shoremen 68-59 while the Bullets took a 65-53 win.