Red-Hot Widener Downs Men's Basketball 91-78; Gates Breaks Three-Point Record
SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Senior Will Gates tallied 22 points and junior Jay Kober added 20 for the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (3-9), but it wasn't enough to lift the Garnet past a hot-shooting Widener squad, as the Pride (3-9) topped Swarthmore by a score of 91-78 on Wednesday evening from Tarble Pavilion.
Gates reached a milestone during his big scoring night, as his team-high six three-pointers made him the program's all-time leader in career three-pointers (188), passing the previous mark of 187 set by Matt Gustafson '05 in 2005.
Junior Joe Keedy finished just one rebound shy of a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Karl Barkley netted 12 points while freshman Seth Liebert finished with seven points and five assists.
The Pride was on fire from the opening tip, shooting a scorching 65 percent for the game. Leading the way for Widener off the bench was Adam Ahern, who put together the game of his career. The senior big man - who entered the contest averaging just 2.3 points per game - finished with 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting. Ahern, who scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half, also hit arguably the two biggest shots of the game - an and-one bucket off a hook shot with 4:33 to play that ended a 10-2 Garnet run and three-pointer with 1:19 to play that sealed the outcome.
Dillon Field added 14 points for the Pride while David Nicholson added 13 points off the bench.
Swarthmore took the early lead behind Gates' quick start. The senior buried three triples in the opening six minutes of playing, giving Swat a 17-11 lead with 13:55 left in the first half. The Pride responded thanks to its strong offense, using a 19-4 run to jump ahead 30-21 with 8:20 left in the half. Widener maintained its lead throughout the first half and went into the locker room with a 44-34 advantage.
The Pride's lead hovered around 10 points for the majority of the first part of the second half, but a rejuvenated Garnet squad made a serious run at the lead late in the game. Threes from Liebert and Keedy helped spark a 10-2 Swat run that cut the Pride lead to just 72-66 with 5:34 to play.
But just when it looked as if the game would be decided in the final moments, the Pride's unlikely hero delivered. Ahern scored 13 of his 23 points over the game's final five minutes, not missing a shot while hitting clutch bucket after clutch bucket to seal the victory.
A big difference in the game was the Pride's use of the three-point play - only it wasn't just the kind that comes from behind the arc. Widener finished with an impressive six and-one plays to go along with its four triples from behind the arc.
Swarthmore returns to action on Saturday to face No. 17 Franklin & Marshall. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m