Men's Basketball Falls to Roanoke in Season-Opening Shootout, 87-82
HAVERFORD, Pa. - Despite a strong offensive effort and a double-double from junior Jay Kober, the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (0-1) dropped its season-opener to Roanoke (1-0) by a score of 87-82 on Friday evening from Haverford College in the opening game of the 21st Annual Equinox Classic.
Five different players reached double-figures for the Maroons, led by Kwasi Amponsah's 19 points.
The Landry Kosmalski era got off to a fantastic start, as the Garnet poured in 45 first-half points to build a nine-point halftime lead. Leading the way for Swat - which led by as many as 14 points in the first half - were Kober (14 points) and Barkley (8 points), each of whom connected on a four-point plays in the opening 20 minutes. Barkley's four-point play with just 12 seconds remaining in the first half sent the Garnet into the locker room with a 45-36 advantage.
The tide began to turn in the Maroons favor in the second half. A lay-up from Gates at the 17:50 mark put the Garnet ahead 49-39, but Roanoke slowly began to chip away at the lead. Over the next five minutes, the Maroons engineered an 18-5 run to jump out on top 57-54.
Over the final 12 minutes of play, the game was back-and-forth, with the lead exchanging hands four times with a total of six ties. A lay-up from junior Jordan Cheney knotted the score at 79-79 with just 2:30 remaining in the game, but that would be as close as Swarthmore would get in the final minutes.
Led by five consecutive points from Andrew Daniels and a lay-up from Amponsah, Roanoke took an 84-81 edge with just 1:09 to play. With the ball and chance to tie, Barkley missed a three-pointer, but freshman Seth Liebert pulled down the offensive rebound and got the ball in the hands of Gates. The senior got to line, but hit just one of two free throws, cutting the lead to 84-82.
Unfortunately, that would be all for the Garnet, as the Maroons took care of business at the free-throw line, hitting three of the four fouls shots to finish off the 87-82 win.
The game was a stark contrast to last season's Swarthmore-Roanoke match-up, which the Maroons won easily, 74-48.
Swarthmore finished with game shooting 48 percent from the field compared to 46 percent for Roanoke. Neither team shot particularly well from the free-throw line (67 percent for the Maroons compared to 64 percent for Swat).
The Garnet return to action tomorrow for its home opener against Connecticut College. Tip off in the Equinox finale is set for 3:00 p.m.