Blue Jays go 0-2 in joust with Knights of Arcadia, Crusaders of Alvernia

Evan Hinkley February 6, 2013 0
Blue Jays go 0-2 in joust with Knights of Arcadia, Crusaders of Alvernia

The Elizabethtown College men’s basketball team faced two teams in the Commonwealth Conference this week: Arcadia and Alvernia Universities. The Blue Jays played both games hard but were unable to come out of either game with a victory, losing 55-50 against Arcadia and 78-57 against Alvernia. The Knights and the Crusaders enjoyed a “home court advantage” against the Blue Jays who struggled to consistently score when they had possession of the ball.
With these losses, Etown’s chances of making the playoffs this season are low. However, the Blue Jays aren’t ready to just pack it up and get ready for next season. Head Coach Bob Schlosser said, “Every game is a winnable game for our team,” adding that his group of players has the potential to “hit a positive run in the second half” and run away with a victory.
Schlosser cited two things his team could improve on for their final four games this season: defense and consistent scoring. He feels that if his players can stop opposing players from dribbling hard toward the basket, they can cut down on the number of points scored against them. He is also aware that his team often hits a stretch during a critical point in a game where they are unable to score any points. This critical point for the Blue Jays is often at the start of the second half when both teams have played evenly matched basketball for the first 20 minutes and are looking to take a significant lead over their opponents for the next 20 minutes.
This happened early on the Blue Jays’ game against the Arcadia Knights, when they were 2-12 within the first four minutes of the game. With their backs against the wall early on, the Blue Jays got five straight baskets from senior Ben Cable (without a single bucket by Arcadia) that allowed them to enter halftime with a tied score of 25-25.
In the second half of their game against Arcadia, Etown struggled to stay consistent and scored just six points in 13 minutes, allowing the Knights to take a 42-31 lead. The Blue Jays fought for a comeback, drawing within three points with 1:11 left in the game thanks to two good free throws from Cable. However, Etown was forced to foul the Knights and allow them 5 points from the charity line. A good layup and foul shot by senior Joe Renzi again pushed the deficit to just 3 points. However, Renzi’s points came with just three seconds left to play. The game ended with Etown having to foul Travis Saltus of Arcadia, who put in two shots from the free throw line to end the game.
Etown’s leading scorer in this game was Cable, who gathered 18 points and went seven-for-seven from the free-throw line.
“They’re not short on motivation, that’s for sure,” Cable said. “Nobody expects us to make a push; we can surprise teams if we come out strong.” Cable reminds his underclassman teammates to “stick with it, and good things will happen.”
The Blue Jays traveled to Alvernia, hoping to keep their dreams of the playoffs alive. The first half was evenly matched with junior Joe Schwalm providing 12 points to the Blue Jays’ cause. As they entered halftime, the team was only down by four points at 32-36.
Etown would never make a significant push to take the lead in the second half as the Crusaders’ Terrance Bridgers started and ended a 14-point run for Alvernia that came without any Blue Jay buckets. This had Etown handling a 17-point deficit with about 14 minutes left to play.
From this point on, Bridges and his Alvernia teammates continued to score. The day went to Bridgers, who scored a career high 30 points to help Alvernia remain tied in first place in the Commonwealth Conference.

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