By J.T. Mitchell
On Friday night, the Sewanee Men’s Basketball Team’s historic 2019 season came to an unfortunate end as they lost to Guilford College, 97-59, in the opening round of the Division III NCAA Tournament.
With a huge home crowd in attendance, Guilford came out of the gates hot. The Quakers opened the game with an 11-0 run before Sewanee finally was able to put the ball in the basket with 17:24 remaining in the first half.
The Tigers bounced back, putting together a little 7-4 run of their own. With a couple of big shots from forward Cam Caldwell (C’19), the deficit was cut to single digits.
Any momentum that Sewanee started to gain was crushed by Guilford’s inability to miss. Three-pointer after three-pointer, the Quakers’ lead was quickly increasing, but was finally halted by the halftime buzzer.
Coming out of the half down 26, Sewanee’s hope had already diminished. The story of the second half was all Guilford. The Quakers kept their foot on the pedal, winning by a massive 38 point margin in large part due to shooting an incredible 14-26 from behind the arc.
Marcus Curry, with 17 points and Kyler Gregory, who scored 13 points and had 11 rebounds, both had big performances to lead Guilford. For Sewanee, the Tigers’ game leaders were Jordan Warlick (C’21) with 14 points and Luke Smith (C’21) with six assists.
It was not the ideal way to go out for the Tigers, but they have nothing to hold their heads down about.
“Having the opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament is every basketball player’s dream,” said Jonny Crumly (C’20). “We didn’t get the result we wanted, but that was a great experience to cap off an historic season for the men’s program.”
A historic season it was for the Tigers as they finished with the second most wins in school history (22), won their first ever Southern Athletic Association conference title, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in over two decades. The 2019 team will be one forever cemented into Sewanee basketball history.