Men’s basketball team struggles in opening week

Senior Tanner Kirkpatrick leads the Bullets Men's Basketball team. Photo by Corey Jewart, Gettysburg College Associate Athletic Director

Senior Tanner Kirkpatrick leads the Bullets Men’s Basketball team. Photo by Corey Jewart, Gettysburg College Associate Athletic Director

By Benjamin Pontz, Staff Writer & Event Coverage Director

With a large incoming first-year class and significant turnover throughout the roster, the Gettysburg College Bullets Men’s Basketball program is certainly a team in transition. That was evident this week as the young squad dropped its first three games of the season, including two games in the tip-off tournament it hosted.

Bullets battle back, but Spartans prevail 59-52 in opener

Tuesday, November 15: York 59, Gettysburg 52

For much of the first half, it was easy to wonder whether Gettysburg had a strategy on offense other than chucking three-point shots on every possession. They did not make a two-point shot until the 5:56 mark in the first half, by which point they had made three from beyond the arc. As the half went on, however, a more conventional offensive strategy helped the Bullets climb back into the game. At the half, they trailed by just four.

At the beginning of the second half, however, York came out with superior intensity and leapt out to an 11-point lead. The raucous sea of green on the visitors side was contrasted with a largely stoic group donning blue warmups on the home side.

Finally, the Bullets got the spark for which they’d been looking in the form of a layup by senior center Mlynue Reeves, whose 14 points off the bench for the Bullets helped keep the team close in the second half.

Senior guard Pete Christ nailed a three and then a transition layup, and a few possessions later, first-year guard Danny Duffey sunk a layup to tie the game at 45. When Christ sunk a three two possessions later, the Bullets took their first lead since the first half’s opening seconds. Gettysburg stretched its lead to as many as four, but down the stretch, it was York who made its free throws, which ultimately proved to be the difference as it pulled out a 59-52 victory in the non-conference tilt, the first game of the season for both teams.

Up next for the Bullets is the Gettysburg Tip-Off Tournament this weekend; the first game is Friday at 6:00 against Delaware Valley, which will be followed on Saturday either in the consolation game at 2:00 or the championship game at 4:00.

See our live coverage via Storify.

Kirkpatrick drops 22, but Bullets can’t grab win in tip-off tourney opener

Friday, November 18: Delaware Valley 69, Gettysburg 62

Seniors Tanner Kirkpatrick and Pete Christ tried to carry the young Bullets’ basketball team to victory Friday evening in their opening game of the Gettysburg Tip-Off Tournament at Bream Gym by scoring 22 and 19 points respectively, but it was not enough to overcome a strong performance from the Aggies of Delaware Valley, who emerged with the victory.

Nick Lord, a first-year guard, tied the game at 56 with a clutch three-pointer, but that was as close as the Bullets got; the Aggies drained a pair of three-pointers to pace themselves to victory.

As a result of the loss, Gettysburg proceeded the tournament consolation game on Saturday afternoon.

Wittenberg controls game from start to finish, hands Gettysburg third straight loss

Saturday, November 19: Wittenberg 74, Gettysburg 51

Gettysburg hoped to avenge two losses that opened their season by notching a strong performance in the consolation game of their home tip-off tournament, but it didn’t work out that way. Once again, the Bullets struggled with shot selection, and they made only 14 of 48 shot attempts (29.2%) including just 5 of 24 from beyond the arc (20.8%).

The Tigers of Wittenberg, however, shot 56.4% from the field and consistently got good looks near the basket to coast to victory, paced in part by a decisive 16-4 run out of intermission to bury the Bullets with an insurmountable deficit. Gettysburg never led, and they struggled to find rhythm particularly on offense; Wittenberg scored 46 points in the paint to Gettysburg’s 16.

With the loss, Gettysburg fell to 0-3 on the young season.

See our live coverage via Storify

Gettysburg travels to Lancaster on Tuesday evening to face Franklin & Marshall, who is 2-0 on the season and is coached by Glenn Robinson, the winningest coach in Division III basketball history.

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Author: Benjamin Pontz

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