The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Sports February 8, 2008

Winter's Cold No Match for Blazing Yeomen

While most Oberlin students spent Winter Term learning Spanish in Mexico, completing internships in distant cities or hanging out at home, the men’s basketball team returned to Oberlin on December 27 for a month of hard work and cold weather. They faced practices, games and on-campus Winter Term projects.

Currently, the Yeomen record is 4-16 overall and 3-8 in the conference. During the month of January and the first week of February the team went 2-8.

“The month in general was a learning experience,” said senior guard Matt Godwin. “Though it wasn’t as successful as the team would have liked, we took some major steps towards our goal of reaching the conference tournament.”

The Yeomen have definitely kept their goals attainable by defeating North Coast Athletic Conference foes Denison University and Earlham College at home during Winter Term. On January 9, the Yeomen played the Denison Big Red at home, defeating the team 75-70. Junior Mike Loll and senior Jordan Beard both had stellar games, scoring 19 points each. Overall, the Yeomen had strong shooting performances as they made 49.2 percent of their shot attempts. The Yeomen were also victorious due to their intense defense. They created 14 Big Red turnovers that translated into 15 of their points.

On February 2, the Quakers of Earlham College came to Oberlin to try to smash the Yeomen; the Quakers, however, could not overcome clutch plays made by the hard-working Yeomen. The Yeomen remained unphased as they were forced to play the game without Beard and first-year post-player James Tompsett due to injuries.

Besides the must-win conference game, this was also the day of the alumni game. With famous alumni in the audience including George Smith, OC ’87, and Chris Broussard, OC ’90, of ESPN, Oberlin defeated Earlham 65-64. Loll led the team with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Godwin and junior Omari Hall also scored in double figures with 11 and 13 points, respectively. The game proved to be a nail-biter with 15 lead-changes and six appearances of a tie score.

Perhaps the most memorable play of the game came with under ten seconds of play left. Loll found first-year Ryan Magiera underneath the hoop for the game-winning lay-up. “I got double teamed, and I saw Ryan open up underneath the hoop and he made the shot. Everybody contributed in a positive way and it was a great team win,” Loll said.

The Yeomen got to venture outside of the Midwest when they traveled to Connecticut on January 12 to play Coach Isaiah Cavaco’s alma mater, Yale University. Although Yale, a Division I school in the Ivy League, beat the Yeomen, it was a memorable experience.

“It was a priceless experience that I am very grateful to have been a part of,” said Hall. Oberlin President Marvin Krislov, a Yale alumnus, also attended the game. Beard and Magiera led the Yeomen in the game with 15 and 10 points, respectively.

The team, which is now in the last month of the regular season, has six regular season games remaining to prepare for the post-season tournament. Their next home contest will be at Philips Gymnasium on February 13 at 7 p.m. against Kenyon College.


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