By Harry Davis
On Friday, October 18, the Sewanee Men’s Basketball team took on the Boyce Bulldogs to start the Lon Varnell Classic. Sewanee began the two-day classic at home on a strong foot as they defeated Boyce 76-47.
After a tough start to the season against Division 1 foes Lipscomb and Austin Peay, Sewanee struggled early on against Emory & Henry, but outscored the Wasps 42-40 in the second half. Next up was Boyce, a team that lost to Sewanee twice last year, 78-63 and 65-50, looking for redemption.
Forward Brody Stone (C’17) co-led the Tigers with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. The Tigers managed to work through a slow start, making 46.7 percent of their shot attempts in the first half, already an improvement from the 37.5 percent shooting they had against Emory & Henry.
Leading 36-28 at halftime was just the beginning for the Tigers as they began to separate from Boyce in the second half. Boyce managed to stay in the game in the first half, even with a shooting percentage of 39.3 percent that would drop to 33.3 percent by the end of the game. Sewanee’s high-pressure defense caused 20 Boyce turnovers.
Dominating the points in the paint and second-chance points, as well as outscoring Boyce ten to zero on fast breaks, shows Sewanee’s ability to play big or fast depending on the situation. The Tiger’s bench played a key factor in the game with 32 bench points as opposed to four by Boyce. Adrian Thompson (C’20) led the way off the bench, scoring 10 points in 21 minutes of action, and Cam Caldwell (C’19) was lights out shooting three for three.
The bench play will continue to be a major part in the Tiger’s success. “It’s going be a little different from last because we need some young guys to step up, but I have faith in our guys to be solid,” said Stone.
The Tigers have a strong core, but depth is something every team needs, and if this game against Boyce shows anything, it shows that depth can help you close out games.