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Owls strike early, but Scots make final stand

GAMBIER, Ohio — Fueled by a flurry of first-half, three-point buckets from senior Anthony Testa, the Kenyon College men’s basketball team staggered The College of Wooster on Wednesday night at Tomich Arena. The visiting Fighting Scots, however, outscored the host Owls 50-27 in the second half to claim a 79-65 conference win.

The two teams battled through turnovers early, but maintained a close game. Through the midway point of the first half, Wooster inched forward with a seven-point advantage after capitalizing on multiple Kenyon fouls. 

Kenyon, trailing 20-13, then saw Testa bury his first-three pointer at the 7:51 mark of the half. He was fouled on the play, made the free throw and pulled his team within three. The next two trips back to the Kenyon half of the court resulted in two more treys for Testa, giving Kenyon a 23-22 lead.

Wooster kept it close for the next few minutes, but Kenyon whipped up an 8-1 run to close out the half. That spurt was punctuated by a three-pointer from Connor Moss, who lifted the Owls into the intermission with a 38-29 lead.

The Fighting Scots, who own a decades-long win streak against Kenyon, were stunned, but they found a way to regroup in the second half, which they dominated.

Jamir Billings, who did not score in the first half, connected on a trio of three-pointers to ignite the Fighting Scots when play resumed. Wooster went on to make 6-of-7 three-pointer attempts in a nine-minute span and jumped ahead 59-48 at the halfway point of the second stanza.

In addition to absorbing that blow from Billings, Kenyon found itself in all sorts of foul trouble. Most of it stemmed from the play of Wooster’s 6-8 center Nick Everett. Not only did he finish with a game-high 19 points, but he also drew eight fouls and played a significant role in three Kenyon players ending the night with four fouls and one fouling out.

That foul trouble made it difficult for the Owls to mount a comeback. They did, however, go on a short run capped by another triple from Moss to pull within five points, at 63-58. Kenyon then missed its next two shots and four of its next five field-goal attempts to allow the Fighting Scots to escape with the win.

Moss finished with 11, but it was Gefen Bar-Cohen who led the way with 18 points for Kenyon. Testa couldn’t sustain his first-half hot streak and wound up with 10 points.

No Kenyon player had more than three rebounds, as Wooster dominated the glass, 39-18.

Following up on Everett’s night, Ashton Price poured in 18 points for Wooster, while Billings capped things off with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The win bumped Wooster to 6-7 overall and loss dropped Kenyon to 4-9. Both teams evened out their North Coast Athletic Conference record at 2-2.

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