Men’s Basketball Grabs the Gators by their Tails
by Channing Joseph

The Oberlin men’s basketball team pleased its fans this past Wednesday, Feb. 13, by defeating the Allegheny Gators with a final score of 79-65. The win placed the team at 8-15 overall and helped them to maintain their fifth place standing in the North Coast Atlantic Conference. The victory was a welcome rebound after last week’s 16-point loss to Kenyon College, potentially putting the Yeomen back on the track they seemed to be following prior to their Feb. 6 defeat, during which they had managed to pull off an impressive five-game winning streak.

The latest game against the Gators had held the possibility of being an intimidating proposition in light of Allegheny’s Feb. 9 victory over Kenyon, 79-69, and Oberlin’s recent, smoldering loss to that very team. Yet this prospect seemed to hold no water for the Yeomen, who demonstrated that they were up to the challenge.
This readiness, however, was not obvious early in the game, which began with two-point shots by Ryan Meerstein and Eric Johnson of the opposing team. These early Gator strides were countered by three-pointers from Oberlin’s Chris Ikpoh and James Keating, and the rest of the period continued along similar lines. The two teams did not differ more than a few points from each other during this part of the game, both reaching the half-way point with a mere three points separating them, Oberlin scoring 38, Allegheny 35.

In fact, it was not until quite some time into the second period, with only about six minutes on the clock, that the Yeomen began to make any significant progress against the game-long stalemate. This sudden change may have been due in part to several good shots by Keating, Ikpoh and Jon MacDonald, which seemed to propel the team into a point-scoring frenzy, ultimately securing Oberlin the win with a solid 14-point lead.
Among the outstanding players who helped to contribute to this victory were the aforementioned sophomore Ikpoh, who alone scored an imposing 25 total points, junior MacDonald, who racked up a career-high of 15 points, junior Djordje Eremic, sophomore Cameron Leverett, and first-year James Keating, who scored 14, 12, and 9 points, respectively.
“We played well most of the game, except for a few stints,” Ikpoh said, “After last week’s loss, we knew we had to win.”

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