The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Men’s basketball winless at weekend tournament, falls to Drexel at home

Junior+center+Justin+Vander+Baan+blocks+a+shot+against+Monmouth+in+the+Cathedral+Classic.+%28Photo+by+Hannah+Ally+for+GoLeopards%29
Junior center Justin Vander Baan blocks a shot against Monmouth in the Cathedral Classic. (Photo by Hannah Ally for GoLeopards)

The men’s basketball team (1-7 overall) emerged winless at the Cathedral of College Basketball Classic this Thanksgiving weekend. It continued its losing streak on Wednesday with a 69-48 loss to Drexel at home.

For the second straight season, the round-robin was held at the University of Pennsylvania. Along with Penn and Lafayette, Belmont University and Monmouth University participated. 

Lafayette faced the hosts on Nov. 24 and junior center Justin Vander Baan erupted, scoring a career-high 28 points including a late three that brought the team to within one point of the Quakers.

The Leopards went ahead by one with 49 seconds to go, but Penn immediately responded with a clutch three of its own to go ahead by a pair. The Quakers tacked on two more points off of free throws as the Leopards fell by a score of 74-72.

“The Penn game felt good,” Vander Baan said. “Our offense was flowing, and I was personally hitting shots that I know I can consistently make. It was very disappointing that we lost because we felt like we were the better team for a majority of that game.”

The next day, the Maroon and White faced off against Monmouth. Junior guard Devin Hines netted 14 points, while senior forward Kyle Jenkins scored 10. Losing 63-53, the team moved to a 0-2 tournament record.

To close out the weekend, Lafayette fell to Belmont losing by 10 points again with a final score was 79-69. Hines contributed 17 points, while sophomore guard Ryan Pettit, junior guard Luka Savikjevikj and freshman guard Luke Rasmussen each scored nine.

Returning to Easton without a win, the Leopards plan to work hard to improve their game plan.

“The tournament obviously didn’t go great, as we went winless,” Vander Baan said. “However, we competed in every game. It’s the consistency that we have to work on. The simple things and details weren’t great for all 40 minutes, and they need to be in order to win.”

Despite the disappointing outing, Hines was named to the all-tournament team for his performances. He ended with 39 points, 14 rebounds and four assists through the three games. 

“It was an honor to be named to the all-tournament team,” Hines said. “I have been working hard to be productive and add value to our team in any way possible.”

While Hines has mostly displayed strong defensive skills over the past two seasons, he has emerged as a formidable offensive force this year. The West Palm Beach, Florida native averages 9.3 points per game. 

“It feels great to have teammates that trust and believe in me,” Hines said. “Their hard work and dedication has helped me become a better team leader. The environment has been very positive and supportive from all the coaches as well.”

This is head coach Mike McGarvey’s first full season in charge of the Leopards. 

“I have a great relationship with Coach McGarvey,” Hines said. “He believes in all of his players. I appreciate the support and confidence he instills in me each and every day.” 

While the team’s starting record doesn’t reflect the start to the season its players would’ve hoped for, Lafayette is not new to this. The Leopards were 1-6 through the first seven games last year as well, but they made it to the Patriot League final. In fact, the Maroon and White were 2-11 before last year’s first conference game.

“Our record is not good, but there is a true belief from the team and coaching staff,” Vander Baan said. “We are right there, but we just have to put everything together for 40 minutes.”

Lafayette’s winless streak continued on Wednesday when it lost by 21 points to Drexel. Vander Baan continued his impressive run of form, netting 13 points in the team’s home game. 

The team faces Cornell at 2 p.m. on Saturday in Kirby Sports Center. 

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Eric Ponieman, Assistant Sports Editor
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