Today: May 22, 2024

Men’s basketball defeats AIC 90-72

Jay’Mi Vazquez- Managing Editor

Dillon Flanigan- Sports Editor

Playing better defensively than last Saturday’s loss to Assumption University, our Owls defeated American International College 90-72, snapping their two-game losing streak.  

The Owls entered their second and final game of two against the American International Yellow Jackets of the season in front of their home fans at James Moore Fieldhouse. 

Off a deflection, American International secured the opening tip. After a missed three-pointer, forward Josh McGettigan, a graduate, rebounded the ball and completed the play with forward Kazell Stewart, a sophomore, driving to the paint for a layup. 

Forward Cherif Diarra, a junior, scoring a basket in Moore Field House on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Photo: Dillon Flanigan

“Getting the chance to have a fast break just brings excitement to the crowd. Our teammates pushing the ball up the floor once again,” Stewart said. 

But the pressure did not stop there. Guard Marty Silvera, a junior, intercepted a pass and set up a layup. Stewart knocked down both free throws, and the Owls were off to a hot start. Stewart added on with a statue of liberty dunk.  

Although the Owls started good, their defense was caught sleeping, finding themselves in a deficit 17-15, as they were outscored by Yellow Jackets 10-0 in less than three minutes. 

The three by guard Logan Bagshaw, a junior, created a 18-17 lead that was quickly overshadowed by a Yellow Jackets 15-0 run. 

Heading into the half, the university regained its focus as it was their time to go on a 21-6 scoring spree. With a collaboration from McGettigan, Silvera, guard Christian Joe and forward Cherif Diarra both freshmen, and sophomore guard Greg Williams, the Owls took a 39-38 lead into halftime. 

With a narrow lead, the Owls continued to score. In fact, they maintained a lead throughout the rest of the game.  

Diarra drained a three-pointer to open the scoring just as a Yellow Jacket basket was secured. 

“Coach told us to attack the press,” Diarra said. “It worked well for us to keep scoring, and that gave us a boost of energy.” 

In a combination of scoring by McGettigan and Stewart, neither seemed more locked in than Silvera’s nine points in a row, extending the margin to 52-45.  

“I feel like in the second half we came out stronger than the first half,” Silvera said. “We took good shots, and they started hitting.” 

Silvera said that the team played well together during this game, attacking the Yellow Jackets’ offense with great defense.  

Silvera played aggressively and confidently, scoring 20 points with nine assists and four steals throughout the game.  

The well-rounded game continued with many steals, rebounds and second chance points. It was a team effort, and all players contributed down the stretch.  

While Diarra, McGettigan and Silvera were still delivering on both sides of the ball, guards Sean James, a junior, and Mason Williams, a graduate, introduced themselves to the party, each scoring a three-pointer and multiple other baskets. Joe dazzled as he sprinkled his talent in the paint with a layup which encapsulated their largest lead of the game, 86-64. 

Joe and Greg Williams split the final four points. 

Head Coach Scott Burrell said that this game was the best 40-minute game the Owls have played all year due to the team’s positive energy showcased on and off the court. 

“It was a total team effort, and we played really well,” Burrell said. 

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