Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

The West Chester men’s basketball team hit the road for their two contests and added a tally to both columns of their record last week with a win at Shippensburg, followed by a loss at Bloomsburg.In prior weeks, West Chester’s kryptonite has been their field goal shooting. In their last three games, their percentage has been stuck somewhere around the low 30s range. Wednesday’s game against Shippensburg fared a little better for the Golden Rams.

West Chester shot 51.7 percent from the field in the first half to give the Rams a five point lead going into halftime. They were even better in the second half, shooting 60.9 percent from the field to add to the deficit. Once the second half started, West Chester went on a 16-4 run and Shippensburg was never able to take the lead back from West Chester, who led by as many as 18 points.

The Rams ended up winning 82-70.

Jaleel Mack led the scoring for the Rams with 17 points. Mack was backed by four of his teammates who also finished in double figures. Kehinde Roberts added 15 points while Lance McDowell contributed 14. Miguel Bocachica was also in double figures with 12. Shannon Givens added 10 points for the Rams.

West Chester had a couple days off before returning to action on Saturday afternoon, when they traveled to Bloomsburg.

The first half seemed to have been a continuation of Wednesday’s second half, as West Chester immediately jumped out to a lead. Within the first five minutes of the game, West Chester seemed to be making everything and found themselves in a 12-4 lead.

Bloomsburg bridged the gap a little bit, but for every shot the Huskies made, West Chester seemed to reciprocate on the other end. The Rams shot 63.2 percent from the field in the first half to hold on to the lead as the whistle blew the first half dead. The momentum favored West Chester as they went into the locker room with a five point lead.

The second half picked up right where the first half left off. West Chester controlled the pace of the game and Bloomsburg was constantly playing catch up to the Rams.

With a little less than 10 minutes to go in the game, Harley Williamson nailed two free throws to give the Rams a 10-point lead.

However, things quickly took a turn for the worse when West Chester saw their lead slowly diminishing. Bloomsburg chipped away at the West Chester lead and with 4:07 left in the game, the Huskies’ Jesse Betar stepped to the free throw line and sunk both to tie up the game.

With those foul shots, West Chester watched their last lead of the game disappear as the game instantly shifted in Bloomsburg’s favor.

The Huskies went on a 13-0 run to end the game and eventually beat West Chester 74-61.

The afternoon had a particularly disappointing feel to it after the West Chester women’s team fell to Bloomsburg in the exact same fashion. The Lady Rams held the lead over the Huskies for the majority of the game before Bloomsburg went on a 12-3 run to finish the game on top. Whether Bloomsburg has a late surge strategy or both West Chester teams suffered from a late collapse is irrelevant to the fact that both the men and women had to add an unfortunate tally to their loss column.

West Chester’s second half field goal percentage was almost the complete opposite of the first half, as they were having trouble sinking anything. They went 10-28 from the field, 2-9 from behind the arc and only made half of their free throw attempts.

Khalif Foster scored a team-leading 14 points for the Rams. Eli Daniel and Givens both added another 10.

Bloomsburg’s Dontahe Jordan led the afternoon in scoring with 20 of the Huskies’ points.

The disappointing finish definitely took some confidence away from the Rams, and that is something they are going to need going into this upcoming week.

West Chester hosts Cheyney in Hollinger Field House on Wednesday evening. This is a game that has been circled on the players’ calendars since the schedule was released. West Chester has developed a cross town rivalry with the Wolves and they certainly don’t want to start this game with any sort of lack of confidence.

The game against Cheyney will be played before the women’s game on Wednesday. It is set to start at 5:30 p.m.

Amy Festa is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at AF649219@wcupa.edu.

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