Elizabethtown’s men’s basketball team fell in their game at the University of Scranton Saturday, Jan. 28.
Senior Josh Eden started the game off for the Blue Jays, leading the way in a high-scoring start to the first half. He scored a layup and a jumper in the first five minutes of the game, helping to bring the Blue Jays within two points of the Royals. With 15:16 left in the half, senior Matt Lapkowicz kept the Jays in the game with a three -pointer from the top of the arc.
Unfortunately, following Lapkowicz’s three-pointer, things took a turn for the worse for the Blue Jays. The Royals took over, scoring 12 consecutive points and managing a 21-4 run. With 5:31 left in the first half, the Royals were up 36-18 on the Blue Jays. First-year Connor Moffatt and sophomore Matt Thomas were the only Etown players who managed to find the net for the rest of the half.
“We hung with them for the first couple of minutes ,and it seemed like it would be a close game throughout,” sophomore Jalil Pines-Elliott said. “However, they began to make plays and as much as we tried to trim the deficit, we just couldn’t recover from that point on.”
Scranton hit five early three-pointers to come out ahead of Etown. The Royals’ leading scorer, John Vitkus, shot six-for-six to put 14 points towards Scranton’s dominant performance over the Blue Jays.
Eden and Thomas both kept pushing during the second half, but by that time, the Blue Jays were trailing 45-22 and could not bounce back. After a similar second half, the Blue Jays ultimately fell to the Royals 81-48, making them 4-14 overall and 1-7 in the Landmark Conference.
“Every once in a while things just don’t click,” Thomas said. “I think we played hard together, but if you can’t make the shots, then it’s hard to win games.”
Eden led the team with 12 of the team’s 48 points. Thompson went four-for-four, following Eden with eight points. Moffatt earned five rebounds and scored four points.
Despite being back on another losing streak, Pines-Elliott has nothing but positive things to say about the team’s dynamic. “The leadership [on the team] has been great,” Pines-Elliot said. “The captains really make it known that they are willing to do anything in order for [the team] to be successful.”
Thomas cited the team’s unity as another source of their continued determination.
“This is the closest team I have ever been a part of,” Thomas said. “We all have each other’s backs and truly enjoyed this season, regardless of what our record shows.”
Etown traveled to Drew University last night to face off with the Rangers for a second time this season. The game finished too late to make this issue.
The Blue Jays will take on Moravian College this Saturday, Feb. 4, in Thompson Gym at 4 p.m. Etown is looking to grab its second Landmark Conference victory of the season in their matchup against the Greyhounds.