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Owls offense stalls against OWU

GAMBIER, Ohio — Both men’s basketball teams from Kenyon College and Ohio Wesleyan University struggled offensively right from the start of Wednesday night’s game at Tomsich Arena. The visiting Battling Bishops, however, did a slightly better job recovering than the Owls and chalked up a 61-42 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) win.

Over the first eight minutes of the contest, Ohio Wesleyan stumbled to an 8-4 lead. About two minutes later, Anthony Testa canned a three-pointer for Kenyon to make it a one-point game.

Testa’s shot, however, did not give the Owls the spark they hoped for. The Battling Bishops followed with a 9-2 spurt over the next three minutes and opened a 17-9 lead. That margin stayed about the same for the rest of the first half, as both teams struggled with shooting accuracy and turnovers.

By the time they got to halftime with a 27-19 advantage, the Battling Bishops were 6-of-22 (27.3 percent) shooting from the floor with nine turnovers. Kenyon was 6-of-25 (24.0 percent) with 13 turnovers. 

After the break, both teams took better care of the ball, but shooting woes continued for Kenyon.

The Owls opened the second half with 3-of-4 free throws to pull within five points, but they missed their next four shots and would never get closer. Ohio Wesleyan capitalized and put together a 12-2 run that made all the difference in the game. Both Jesse Battle and Tony Carter drained three-pointers during the Battling Bishops run.

Kenyon tried to counter with multiple offensive looks, but nothing seemed to be clicking for the Owls, who ended the game 14-of-54 (25.9 percent), including a 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) night from long range.

After notching just one point in the first half, Kenyon senior Gefen Bar-Cohen got more aggressive in the lane and added 11 second-half points to finish with a team-high 12. Nick Nelson tallied seven points and a team-high six rebounds. Dylan Fuerst also scored seven, while Bar-Cohen and Murathan Kocaman, who battled foul trouble, both grabbed five boards.

Henry Hinkle’s scoring output was indicative of just what kind a night it was for both teams. The Ohio Wesleyan junior led all scorers with 18 points, but he did so on 5-of-13 shooting with seven of his points scored at the free throw line.

As a team, the Battling Bishops put together a better shooting performance in the second half and finished the game 20-of-54 (37.0 percent).

The win moved Ohio Wesleyan’s record to 7-10 overall and 4-4 in the NCAC, while the loss dropped Kenyon to 4-13 overall and 2-6 in the conference.

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