Historic Night Highlights Oberlin’s Victory
Looking to snap a three game skid, Wednesday night proved to be a night of milestones for the men’s basketball team as Oberlin defeated Allegheny College 74–56 at the David V. Wise Center in Meadville, PA.
The victory marked the first time that the Yeomen have achieved seven wins in the NCAC since the 2001–2002 season. The 14-year drought in conference wins and the Yeomen’s recent three-game losing streak were snapped by the road victory as the team advanced their record to 12–10 overall and 7–8 in the NCAC.
The game was also highlighted by senior center and Review Sports Editor Randy Ollie scoring his 1,000th career point. The Evanston, IL, native finished the game with nine points, even though he needed just four points entering the contest to become Oberlin College’s 23rd member of the 1,000-point club.
The game was a close affair in the first half, as the Yeomen narrowly led the Gators 34–30 after the first 20 minutes of play. Having struggled offensively in the previous three games against DePauw University, Denison University and Wittenberg University, the Yeomen were able to find their rhythm in the second half. Oberlin outscored Allegheny 40–26 in the second half to secure the season sweep against the Gators.
Oberlin shot 56.9 percent from the field, and was 9–21 for 42.9 percent from beyond the arc in the contest. The Yeomen’s defense came to play as well, holding Allegheny to a respectable 38.5 field goal percentage in the contest.
Oberlin Head Coach Isaiah Cavaco was pleased with the team’s energy and overall performance throughout the game.
“I thought we played with really good energy, especially on the defensive end,” Cavaco said. “On offense we took some time to get comfortable, but moved it well in the second half.”
Junior guard Jack Poyle spearheaded the Oberlin attack, scoring a game-high 19 points on 7–10 shooting, while freshman guard Eli Silverman–Lloyd chipped in with 14 points. Junior guard Zach Meyers added five points and once again served as a key ball handler for the Yeomen’s offense. The Kalamazoo, MI, native noted how Oberlin’s offense performed much better in the second half.
“In the first half we’ve been struggling to find good rhythm, but in the second half we’ve been picking it up,” Meyers said. The Yeomen look to continue their strong efforts in their next game Saturday as they travel to Hiram, Ohio, to take on the Terriers of Hiram College at 3 p.m. The Terriers, with a record of 16–6 overall and 10–5 in the NCAC, are in the midst of their best season in recent school history, making the matchup a tough test for Oberlin. Head Coach Cavaco is extremely impressed with Hiram’s abilities on both sides of the basketball, but recognizes that there are multiple ways that his squad can be successful.
“The biggest keys to the Hiram game are taking care of the basketball and not letting Hiram’s aggressive offensive pace speed us up,” Cavaco said.
While the Yeomen defeated the Terriers on January 16 at Philips gym 75–67, junior guard Nate Cohen stressed that nothing is guaranteed in this season’s homestretch.
“We just have to stick to the game plan, play as a team, and success will come,” Cohen said.
Last year the Yeomen finished 10–16 overall and 6–12 in the NCAC. They clinched a spot in the conference tournament as an eight seed before falling to first-seeded Ohio Wesleyan University 83–66.
Oberlin currently sits in sixth place in the NCAC and have three games remaining on their regular season schedule. The three remaining opponents are currently the top three teams in the conference, and represent crucial games for the Yeomen if the squad hopes to achieve its goal of hosting a home playoff game.