Men’s Basketball Splits Pair Against Hiram, Ohio Wesleyan


Eli Steiker-Ginzberg

Sophomore guard Nate Cohen launches a shot against the visiting Hiram College Terriers last Saturday. Cohen scored a career-high 20 points in the game to help carry the Yeomen to a 83–58 victory.

Bob Cornell

The men’s basketball team split its last two games with a convincing 83–58 win over the visiting Hiram College Terriers last Saturday and a tough 106–76 loss against the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops on Wednesday. Sophomore Nate Cohen spearheaded the Yeomen’s offense with a career-high 20 points and 5 assists against the Terriers. He attributed his sharpshooting to both recent training and his teammates’ adept off-the-ball movement.

“I’ve been getting into the gym a bunch outside of practice for the past few weeks, and that has really started to show in the games,” Cohen said. “Against Hiram I picked my spots well, and my teammates were able to find me for some pretty solid looks that I was able to put in.”

Cohen was particularly lethal from behind the arc, connecting on six of seven three-point attempts. Discussing the Yeomen’s shooting efficiency, Head Coach Isaiah Cavaco cited extra hours in the gym over January as a major contributor to the success.

“Our guys spent a good amount of time in the gym over Winter Term working on their individual skills,” said Cavaco. “They’ve also bought into the idea of playing to set each other up and shoot the shots [that are] best for them.”

Junior big man Randall Ollie also saw success in the paint against the Terriers with 14 points on 5–5 shooting and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Ollie has raked in 239 points for the Yeomen this season and is en route to surpass his record from last year of 258 points.

The sharp Yeomen defense provided the necessary edge to keep the Terriers at bay, forcing Hiram to give up 17 turnovers as seven Yeomen logged at least one steal. Sophomore guard Jack Poyle contributed three steals to complement 14 points and 4 assists, and senior guard Miles Gueno and first-year forward Sam Kreisberg each had a pair of steals.

The Yeomen homestand ended with a trip to Delaware, Ohio, to face the nationally ranked Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops. Oberlin’s defense faltered under Ohio Wesleyan’s offensive pressure, as Nate Axelrod and Claude Gray blew past the Yeomen with 32 and 25 points respectively.

Offensively, Ollie contributed a team high of 20 points and 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Cohen continued his double-digit scoring spree with a 13-point effort, while junior Ian Campbell chipped in 12 points off the bench and Poyle added 11 more.

Although the Yeomen dropped to 10–14 on the season and 6–11 in conference play, their wins against Hiram and Allegheny College last week, along with Kenyon’s loss to Wittenberg, have helped the squad clinch the eighth seed for the NCAC tournament.

Oberlin concludes the regular season against the 24th-ranked College of Wooster Fighting Scots on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Philips gym. The Fighting Scots have had a promising season, recording a 19–5 overall record and 13–4 conference record. The two teams met earlier this season when the Fighting Scots defeated the Yeomen 91–71.

“We expect to match the speed and intensity levels of the best teams in the league,” said Cavaco. “We have a great opportunity ahead of us to move the program another big step forward, this week and next.”

The season finale marks the last home game for the three graduating members of the team: Seniors Austin Little, Jesse Neugarten and Gueno will be honored prior to the 3 p.m. tip-off.

“It is pretty weird to think that this is actually the last game I’m going to be playing at Oberlin,” Little said. “Miles and Jesse are two of the best players and, more importantly, friends that I have been lucky enough to share time on and off the court with. I expect that playing alongside them for the last time on our home floor will be another of the great moments we have had together.”

Gueno echoed Little’s sentiment in leaving the men’s basketball program this spring.

“A lot of hard work has been put into this basketball program, as far as building it up to what it is now,” he said. “I can certainly say that the Oberlin basketball ship is sailing in the right direction now. The best is yet to come for this program and Coach Cavaco.”