Widener Downs Men's Basketball in Season Opener, 82-56
CHESTER, Pa. - Homestanding Widener used a commanding run to close out the first half and never looked back, blitzing the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (0-1) by the score of 82-56 on Tuesday evening in the season opener for both teams.
Junior Will Gates led all scorers with 24 points, 22 of which came in the second half. Sophomore Jay Kober finished with 12 points while sophomore Joe Keedy added eight points. Gates, Keedy and junior Matt Turner all finished with six rebounds.
Perry Wright (19), Brian Smith (15), Jack Brennan (14) all scored in double figures for the Pride (1-0). The major difference in the game was the Pride's pressure defense, which forced 33 Garnet turnovers.
A close contest for the first 10 minutes of play, Widener used its full-court press and constant attack to take complete control of the game. After a lay-up from Keedy at the 10:52 mark of the first half made it a 13-10 game, the high-flying Pride used separate 14-0 and 9-0 runs over the half's final 10 minutes to build a 28-point lead.
It was more of the same in the second half, the Pride's lead ballooned to 33 points. Swarthmore did pick up its play over the final 10 minutes of game, thanks in part to Gates' 13 points over that stretch.
Widener finished the game with a staggering 26 steals, including nine from Smith alone.
Senior Michael Giannangeli added four assists for the Garnet.
Swarthmore returns to action on Friday when it hosts Merchant Marine in the opening game of the Equinox Classic. Play is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m.