Battling Bishops Knock Men’s Basketball Out of Playoffs


Briana Santiago

Senior captain Jesse Neugarten hits a layup against a defender from The College of Wooster last Saturday in Philips gym. The Yeomen concluded their season on Tuesday, finishing with an overall record of 10–16 and a conference record of 6–12.

Bob Cornell

The men’s basketball team saw its season end in defeat when it fell 83–66 to the No. 1 team in the conference, the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops, last Tuesday.

The Yeomen had previously struggled against the Battling Bishops, falling 86–61 and 106–76 earlier in the season. Tuesday’s contest had the Yeomen struggling again, and though they played it close for much of the game, trailing the Bishops by three points late in the first half, the Bishops’ offensive surges kept the Yeomen at bay.

A 19–7 run in the final seven-and-a-half minutes of the first half pushed the Bishops to a commanding 54–39 lead that they would not let go. After the game, junior center Randy Ollie praised the nationally ranked Bishops’ ability to put up points.

“Ohio Wesleyan is able to put up a lot of points because they are very [effective] at moving the ball to find open shooters and [are] really good at converting off of second chances and turnovers,” he said.

Despite the Bishops’ high-scoring ability, the Yeomen played tough defense in the second half, holding them to just 29 points. The Yeomen also struggled, however, scoring only 27 points of their own on a paltry 7-of-27 from the field.

Head Coach Isaiah Cavaco said that he believes the Yeomen are more than capable of hanging with the Battling Bishops, but need to be more consistent throughout the game.

“In stretches, we can go point for point with them,” he said. “We have to be a little more disciplined. … Sometimes we get caught up in the pace, and that is when they make their 10–2 runs or 14–5 runs, and then you play them even for another six minutes. It is just a matter of making sure we don’t have mental lapses.”

Ollie led the Yeomen with a strong performance, scoring 20 points, grabbing 8 boards and recording 2 blocks. In their last game as Yeomen, seniors Austin Little and Miles Gueno scored 15 and 9 points, respectively, off the bench. Still, it was not enough for the team to overcome a sluggish defensive first half.

The men’s basketball regular season ended in defeat last Saturday at home, as the team fell to The College of Wooster Fighting Scots 58–45. The Fighting Scots are currently ranked 24th in the nation.

Plagued by poor shooting throughout, the Yeomen finished 18-of-56 from the floor and 3-of-21 from behind the arc. The shots were available, but the team struggled to connect on a multitude of wide-open looks.

“They are probably the most athletic team in all five positions across the board,” Cavaco said. “I thought we had good shots; we just didn’t make them.”

Nate Cohen was the only Yeomen player to score in double figures with 10 points, but he finished 4-of-14 from the field in 31 minutes of play. Ollie also had a strong performance in the loss, finishing with seven points and a game-high eleven rebounds.

Prior to the game, Oberlin honored seniors Miles Gueno, Austin Little, Jesse Neugarten and junior Ian Campbell, who is graduating early this semester.

The Yeomen now turn their attention to the 2015- 2016 season with all five starters returning — big men Ollie and Matthew Walker and guards Jack Poyle, Nate Cohen and Zach Meyers.

Expectations are high with so much veteran talent returning.

“The goal is to beat Wooster, to beat Ohio Wesleyan and to win the conference championship,” said Cavaco. “Matt and Randy can be a really good one-two punch with Jack and his ability to stretch the floor and Nate with his ability to get to the basket.”

Ollie backed Cavaco’s claims, expressing confidence that the best is yet to come.

“Now that the season is over, I definitely feel as though we fell short of our expectations to host a conference game like the women did, but it’s really cool to have the most overall and conference wins since the early 90s,” Cavaco said. “Next year fans and followers should expect big things from myself, as well as the rest of the team, and I can promise that next season should be a historic season for the program.”