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Boyd bolsters Owls, but Tigers triumph

GREENVILLE, Indiana — Playing without their leading scorer, rebounder, and shot blocker, the Kenyon College men’s basketball team was bolstered by Alex Boyd, who scored a career- and game-high 22 points off the bench. However, DePauw University (15-8, 7-7 NCAC) countered with four double-digit scorers and secured a 78-68 win on their home court.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair that featured efficient shooting early, but Kenyon could not grab a lead through the early going. That changed after Boyd hit back-to-back three-pointers off the bench to give the Owls their first edge at the 13:07 mark when they led 15-14.

The two trifectas ignited a 12-6 Kenyon run that came from behind the three-point arc. The Owls went 4-5 from distance over the spurt after David Mazon III and Anthony Testa found the mark, with Testa’s triple putting Kenyon ahead 21-18 at the midway point in the opening half.

Both offenses went cold after efficient starts, and neither team scored over the next three-plus minutes. The Tigers benefitted from being the first team to rediscover the mark, and a three-pointer helped DePauw close the half on a 17-10 run to build a 35-31 halftime lead. 

After Miles Versa converted the first shot of the second half, the Owls committed five quick fouls and gave the ball away twice over the first three minutes. The miscues helped DePauw compile an 8-2 run that included a 6-6 clip from the charity stripe.

The Tigers’ lead reached double digits, 48-38, at the 15:03 mark, but Mazon III converted a timely triple to keep the Owls within striking distance. Six straight DePauw points forced a Kenyon timeout as the Tigers took their largest lead, 54-41, but Drew Valentino scored three points the hard way after driving in and converting the hoop plus the harm, cutting the lead back to 10.

Valentino converted another and-one a few minutes later, dropping the deficit to single digits, 58-49, with 9:53 left to play. Boyd took over again for the Owls, scoring 11 points over a 17-13 run that brought Kenyon within five, 71-66, with 2:58 on the clock.

The Owls could not maintain the momentum, going 0-4 with two turnovers, while DePauw added four points to the lead until Boyd scored two more points with 45 seconds left. The Tigers closed out the game from the free throw line, clinching a 78-68 victory.

Boyd scored a season-high for the second straight game, following an eight-point outing with 22 points and six rebounds. Both totals were career highs for the senior, who shot a stellar 9-13 overall and 3-6 from three-point range. 

Valentino and Versa chipped in nine points apiece, with Valentino adding five boards and Versa contributing four steals. In his first start of the season, Juan Sergio Matabuena set season-highs of eight points and three blocks while matching a season-best with six rebounds.

The Owls (7-15, 0-13 NCAC) return home on Saturday, Feb. 11, and welcome Wittenberg University (9-11, 5-7 NCAC) at 3 p.m. for Kenyon’s penultimate home game. Kenyon will celebrate Senior Day at the contest, which is one of three games left on the Owls’ schedule.

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