Men’s basketball picks up the pace with stellar play
By Emily Kleinburd, Staff Writer
While most Gettysburg College students were at home relaxing on their couches and eating home cooked meals, the Gettysburg College men’s basketball team (9-8, 5-5 CC) was hard at work, compiling a 7-2 record over the winter break period.
The Bullets began their winter break success at home on Dec. 15 with a 66-52 non-conference win against Shenandoah College. Senior center Christian Bors posted a double-double with a career-high 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bullets. Gettysburg was dominant in the paint and shot a season-high 56.8 percent from the field. Both teams struggled from the line, however. Gettysburg only hit 14-of-26 and Shenandoah only finished on 8-of-18. Gettysburg was in control from the beginning, as the Bullets only trailed in the opening minutes before a 12-3 run gave them a seven point lead. A strong second half performance was enough to keep the Bullets ahead for the remainder of the game and seal the win.
After a twelve-day break, the Bullets were back in action in the College Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at York College. They easily defeated Farmingdale State College with a score of 71-48 in their first game, opening with a 16-0 run. Gettysburg was also able to improve on their free throw shooting, turning in a 15-for-15 performance at the line. In the tournament championship against Grove City College, Zurn put up 22 points and led the Bullets to victory while also being named the Tournament MVP. Gettysburg continued their free throw success from the previous game, taking advantage of 31 Grove City fouls and shooting 34-of-47 from the charity stripe. Senior Derek Brooks added 13 points, including nine of the last 15 scored. The win marked the 600th game coached by Gettysburg Head Coach George Petrie.
Gettysburg fell short in their final non-conference match of the season against Randolph-Macon College, only posting 40 points in the 58-40 loss. Zurn had a near double-double, tabbing 18 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Joe Emerusabe and Junior Connor Poston each contributed eight points off the bench. The Bullets only led once during the game when Zurn made a lay-up 44 seconds into the game, making it 2-0. Randolph-Macon answered with an 18-3 run that proved to be too much for Gettysburg to answer.
On Jan. 5, the Bullets were able to pull away late from Washington College (0-13, 0-6 CC) to win in what was a close game until the end. Gettysburg’s 69-53 Centennial Conference victory was paced by Zurn’s 23 points. He also made three steals during the game, putting him at 94 steals for his career, which ties for tenth in school history. Gettysburg out-rebounded Washington 33-to-21 and dominated in the paint, where they scored 40 of their 69 points. The Shoremen came close to tying the game a few times, but a 12-0 Gettysburg run in the second half gave the Bullets the decisive victory.
Three days later, the Bullets were able to hold off Ursinus College in an even tighter conference battle, winning in the final minutes with a score of 61-58. Senior center Benjamin Constable hit four from the charity stripe in the final 27 seconds of the contest, securing the win for the Bullets. Brooks led the Bullets with season-highs of 16 points, six rebounds and six assists. Constable also notched a season-high 14 points, while Poston posted his first career double-double. For the second game in a row, the Bullets shot over 50 percent from the field; however, they were unable to convert on three-pointers.
The Bullets continued their winning streak in an 84-78 overtime victory against Muhlenberg, led by Zurn who turned in a career-high 29 points. First-year Sango Amolo forced the game into overtime by hitting a pair of free throws with .8 seconds on the clock, and Gettysburg outscored the Mules 10-4 to earn another conference victory. Amolo finished with a career-high 17 points, Emerusabe added 10 points and Poston contributed eight points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Muhlenberg was led by Sophomore Malique Killing, who put up 27 points for the Mules, and Kevin Hargrove, who posted 24 points.
Gettysburg’s three-game winning streak was snapped by the Dickinson Red Devils (12-4, 7-2 CC) in a 54-43 loss at Dickinson on Jan. 16. Gettysburg’s shooting came up short in another away match against a strong Dickinson team that averages a conference leading 72.5 points per game. Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, with Gettysburg only shooting 27.3 percent and Dickinson shooting 36.8 percent. The game remained close until Dickinson pulled away by hitting a trio of three-pointers in the span of three and a half minutes. Gettysburg struggled at the foul line, only connecting on 5-of-12.
Gettysburg doubled their score against Dickinson in their 86-61 win against Haverford, with Poston tabbing a career-high 19 points. He also added seven rebounds and Constable recorded 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Gettysburg also shot a season-best 63.2 percent from the field. The Bullets never trailed in the game, and asserted their offensive dominance early, opening with a 17-6 lead. With this win, the Bullets are now 9-8 and 5-5 in the Centennial Conference.
The Bullets continue their conference schedule at Swarthmore College on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 3:00 p.m.