Men's Basketball Upsets Washington College, 84-78
SWARTHMORE, Pa. - For the first time this season, all the bounces went Swarthmore's way.
Led by easily its best offensive effort of the 2011-12 campaign, the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (2-20, 2-13) upset second-place Washington College 84-78 on Wednesday evening from Tarble Pavilion. The win snaps the Garnet's 14-game losing streak and marks the team's first home win since January 15, 2011.
Four different player reached double-figures for the Garnet, led by junior Will Gates' 25 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Marc Rogalski scored a season-high 12 points, sophomore Davis Ancona scored a career-high 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting and sophomore Joe Keedy netted 10 points. Sophomore Jordan Federer scored nine points and dished out a season-best seven assists while sophomore Jay Kober added nine points as well.
The Garnet offense -- which has struggled mightily all season long -- lit up its home court all night. Swarthmore finished the game scoring a season-best 84 points on a season-best 54 percent shooting -- including an unconscious 68 percent in the second half.
Kevin Breslin led the Shoremen (13-9, 9-6) with a game-best 31 points.
The Garnet built a commanding 16-point second half lead, pulling ahead 73-57 on an Ancona reverse lay-up under the basket with 4:45 to go, but the Shoremen used full-court pressure to mount a furious late-game rally to turn the game into a barnburner.
Led by its tenacious defense, Washington went on a 15-2 run in just over three minutes, with a jumper from Sal Schittino making it a 75-72 game with just 1:24 to play.
With the game on the line, Swarthmore senior Michael Giannangeli came through with the play of the game. In desperate need of the basket and the shot clock running down, Giannangeli beat his defender at the top of the key and finished a tough runner in the lane, making it a 77-72 game and giving the Garnet a much-needed momentum boost.
From that point on, Swarthmore took care of business, hitting six-of-eight foul shots in the final minute to seal the much-needed and well-deserved win.
A 32-32 game heading into the second half, Swarthmore took over with its sharp shooting. The Garnet used a 10-0 in the opening three minutes of play run -- capped by a three-pointer from Kober -- to build a 46-37 cushion.
From that point, Swat's maintained its lead thanks to its sizzling shooting. Threes from Kober, Gates and Rogalski and tough shots from Keedy and Ancona saw the Garnet stretch its lead to 16 points over the next 10 minutes of play.
Swarthmore's margin of victory might have been much larger if it wasn't for poor free-throw shooting; the Garnet won despite hitting just 16-of-35 foul shots.
Swarthmore's bench out-scored Washington's 22-15.
The Garnet return to action on Saturday at No. 14 Franklin & Marshall. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m.