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 extends losing streak to six

Freshman guard Mark Butler elevates for two against Cornell. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

The men’s basketball team (1-9 overall) could not pick up a win after two Ivy League matchups this week.

First, the group faced Cornell inside Kirby Sports Center on Saturday.

Both teams displayed lackluster shooting accuracy from beyond the arc in the first half, with Cornell at 26 percent and Lafayette at just over 29 percent. Junior guard Devin Hines had the most points for the Leopards at the half with 12, but the Big Red held a six-point lead at 41-35.

The Leopards brought the energy to open the second half, going on a 10-6 run and coming within two points of Cornell’s 47. Crucial to this surge was senior forward Kyle Jenkins who sank back-to-back three-pointers in less than 30 seconds.

Jenkins currently has the second-most points on the team. The veteran player, who has started since he joined Lafayette, has taken on a leadership role this season.

“I think I have been able to score a decent amount because my teammates have had confidence in me and have found me in good spots throughout the games,” Jenkins said. 

After some more back-and-forth play, the score sat at 62-58 in favor of Cornell; however, it was in the final stretch of the game that the visitors separated from the Leopards. With numerous visits to the foul line and some big plays, Cornell took the win by a score of 79-71.

A recurring theme so far this season has been the team’s lack of attention to detail and overall focus, especially late in the game. 

“I think we need to put a full forty minutes together,” Jenkins said. “We need to continue to pay attention to detail and make plays down the stretch.”

Next, Lafayette fell to Columbia in New York by a score of 83-72. Senior guard Eric Sondberg recorded a career-high 28 points while shooting 46.2 percent from three point range and 52.9 percent from the floor. Butler also scored a career high 15 points. Nevertheless, the team added another tally in the loss column.

Although the group is in the midst of a losing streak, the players continue to persevere and look to the positives.

“We are just getting better and better after each game,” Hines said. “Even though it hasn’t resulted in a win yet, we know things will change if we stay locked in.”

Coach Mike McGarvey has been keeping his players motivated amidst a tough start.

“Coach just pretty much told us to keep our heads held high,” Hines said. “He told us to continue to be the team that plays hard each and every play down the stretch.”

There are reasons not to panic. Looking back to last year, when the team reached the Patriot League final, its second win came on December 21st. While Lafayette’s nine losses are the most out of the 10 Patriot League teams, five other programs currently hold seven.

“The mindset of the team is just focusing on the next game and continuing to get better,” Jenkins said. 

The Leopards face La Salle University at home tomorrow at 2 p.m.

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Eric Ponieman, Assistant Sports Editor
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