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Owls get hot from three but fall to Muskies

NEW CONCORD, Ohio — Despite a strong shooting showing, the Kenyon College men’s basketball team is still looking for its first win in seven tries after falling 84-70 on the road against Muskingum University, who improved to 2-2. 

The Owls shot an impressive 47 percent from the three-point line, converting 9-of-19 shots from behind the arc. Juan Sergio Matabuena led Kenyon with 14 points and seven rebounds as the big man went 5-6 from the field and 4-5 from three. 

After Gefen Bar-Cohen won the jump ball for Kenyon, Dylan Fuerst took a handoff and ball screen from Matabuena and drove to the bucket for a left-handed layup for the game’s first points. Fuerst returned the favor a few possessions later, dishing an assist to Matabuena, who drilled a three from the corner and tied the score up 5-5. 

Muskingum was led by Kaelan Pulliam, a freshman forward, who scored 10 of their first 14 points for the Muskies and knocked down two three-pointers in the first half. Fuerst, a senior guard, paced the Owls with seven first-half points. He aggressively drove into the lane and converted on three of four shots from the foul line. Around the 10-minute mark, Korey Robinson made a three-pointer for the Fighting Muskies, but Nick Nelson responded six seconds later with a three of his own to cut Kenyon’s deficit to 22-16. The Owls played competitive basketball for the remaining 10 minutes, and the score was 34-29 by the first-half buzzer. 

Matabuena wasted no time opening up the second half as he drove in from the wing to hit a floater. Muskies guard Logan Stotzer responded by hitting two three-pointers within a minute early on in the second half, and he totaled 18 points in the contest.

The Owls played tough and stuck around for most of the second half. Anthony Testa delivered two second-half triples, and all nine of his points were from distance. Around the eight-minute mark, Matabuena hit another triple to bring the Owls within five points, down 60-55. However, the Muskies proceeded to go on a 10-3 run and never looked back. 

Pulliam led all scorers with 24 total points on 8-11 shooting and 3-5 from three. Aside from Matabuena, the Owls got offensive production from Nelson, who had 10 points, and nine points apiece from Testa and Fuerst. 

The Owls will look to turn it around as they enter league play this coming Saturday. Kenyon is set for a 3 p.m. tip-off at home in Tomsich Arena, where they will host DePauw University (3-3, 0-1 NCAC) in a North Coast Athletic Conference contest.


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