January 30, 2013

Men's BasketBall Moves into First Place

The men’s basketball team started their spring semester with two critical wins.

The first win came against archrival Franklin & Marshall on Wednesday, Jan. 23. The Red Devils defeated the three-time defending Centennial champion Diplomats 71-63, who had the best record in the conference entering the game. On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Devils traveled to Ursinus and destroyed the Bears 82-63. These victories propelled the Devils, 9-3 in conference and 14-5 overall, into a tie with Franklin & Marshall for first place. With six games left in the regular season, these wins give Dickinson control of their own destiny for the top seed in the playoffs and the right to host the Centennial Conference tournament. The play of point guard Adam Honig ’14 earned him Centennial Conference Player of the Week honors.

The game against Franklin & Marshall gave Dickinson a chance to get within one game of the first-place Diplomats. For Franklin & Marshall, they looked to continue their quest to host the Centennial Conference tournament yet again. The Diplomats started off strong, but it would be Dickinson who would take over with eight minutes to go in the first half. Honig hit a long-range three pointer to give the Devils their first lead of the night 19-16. The Diplomats responded two minutes later with two free throws to retake the lead but it would be Gerry Wixted ’15 who would score off a nice layup to make the score 21-20, advantage Dickinson. With four minutes left in the first half, Honig continued his fine performance with back to back mid-range jumpers to make the score 30-26. After an athletic open-court layup by Chris Barsanti ’13, Honig concluded the half with a three pointer from just outside the top of the key to extend the Devils lead 35-27. After going into the locker room leading 35-31, Dickinson did not let up. The Red Devils excellent free throw shooting highlighted the second half, as they finished the night 25-28 from the charity stripe. The Red Devils would take the lead for good with nine minutes left in regulation. Tucker Landy ’14 freed himself to nail a wide-open three pointer to give the Devils a 52-50 lead. From there on, it was all Dickinson. With just under two minutes left in regulation, the home team sealed the deal with pinpoint free throw shooting from Barsanti, Honig and Landy. Honig led in scoring with 21 points and went three for four from three-point range. Wixted chipped in with 17 points and was nearly perfect from the free throw line, shooting 10 for 11.

The Red Devils continued playing their best basketball of the season when they visited Ursinus on Saturday. Dickinson dominated throughout the game and, similar to the battle against the Diplomats, the play of Honig was the main event in the first half. He drained four first-half three-pointers en route to finishing the half with 16 points and 20 in the game. Barsanti started the second half with a three-pointer to extend the lead to 47-31. With 13 minutes left in the game, an aggressive Chris Cox ‘15 got in on the action with a monstrous left-handed dunk to give his team a 61-40 lead. At one point, the Red Devils led by 31 points, 76-45, before winning by 19. This victory and a loss by Franklin & Marshall, who fell to Haverford on that same day, allowed Dickinson to tie the Diplomats in first place. The Devils host the McDaniel Green Terror on Thursday, Jan. 31, before hosting McDaniel on Saturday, Feb. 2. Dickinson defeated each of these teams earlier in the season, beating McDaniel and Washington by scores of 74-68 and 76-67, respectively.