By Harry Davis
On Saturday, December 2, the Sewanee Men’s Basketball team defeated the Centre Colonels 70-63 at home to begin Southern Athletic Association play.
The Tigers entered after having dropped two of their most recent games, one against Methodist 64–60 to finish the Lon Varnell Classic, and Maryville, 81–73 before beating Piedmont College 60–37. Against both Methodist and Maryville, Sewanee struggled with turnovers and points off turnovers leading to both teams outscoring Sewanee in fastbreak points as well. Piedmont struggled mightily against Sewanee shooting a mere 22.6 percent from the field and 13.6 percent from the three-point line.
The Colonels had two wins and three losses after an exhibition game against Kentucky. Most recently Centre beat Franklin College 66–55 outscoring them 12–2 in fastbreak points and 40–28 for points in the paint. Last year Centre had a 14–11 record and beat Sewanee twice 71–63 and 77–73.
Sewanee began the game strong and lead by six points after three minutes. The Tigers creating the largest lead of the game at 25–4 with around ten minutes left in the first half. The Tigers never lead by less than 12 points in the first half to bring the halftime score to 41–27 as they shot 57.1 percent from the field to Centre’s 30 percent.
The Second half began with the teams trading scores as the Colonels tried to get back into the game. With 5:10 left in the second half, the score was 43–59 but Centre was not finished. They made three out of four free throws and scored three more times to make the score 61–52 Sewanee. For the next few minutes of the game Centre continued to chip away at Sewanee’s lead. Centre, starting with only five minutes left, made a 19–7 run against the Tigers which made it a three-point game with 19 seconds left in the game. Hunter Buescher (C’19) made two free throws with 11 seconds left to push the Tigers lead to five before he sealed the game with two more made throws with one second left to make the final score 70-63.
This game’s second half was much different for Sewanee. Centre shot over 50 percent from the field as opposed to 30 percent in the first half. However, Sewanee would not be denied a win and although they struggled at times, they shot seven for seven from the free throw line in the second half, which sealed the game at the end. Centre showed they are a much better team than the first half demonstrated but the Tigers were ready for the challenge as they proved their ability to maintain composure even when it looks like they had lost the game. The two teams will meet again in February when Sewanee visits Centre to end the regular season.
Sewanee will continue their homestand against Covenant on Saturday, December 9, before finishing the month of December off with three road games against Huntingdon, Westminster, and MacMurray.