Today: Apr 14, 2024

Men’s basketball defeats Pace University

Jay’Mi Vazquez- Managing Editor

The men’s basketball team faced Pace University of New York on Wednesday Feb. 7. In a grueling defensive battle, the Owls took their third consecutive win, with the final score 79-64 Owls.  

When the first whistle blew, Pace was able to get the tip off. However, forward Cherif Diarra, a sophomore, scored first for the Owls after a steal from guard Marty Silvera, a junior. 

The first 10 minutes of the first half were sluggish, with neither team scoring consistently. The Owls showcased double-teaming defensive skills as Pace applied the same pressure.  

Owls face off against Pace University on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Photo: Kahiona Senior

Head Coach Scott Burrell said the team had a slow start, but the Owls had that spark getting the team into the flow. 

“We got open shots. We just didn’t make them in the early start of the game, but they started to fall for us,” Burrell said.  

Pace quickly obtained a seven-point lead against the Owls. But Silvera had a streak, scoring nine points, getting the Owls closer to gaining the lead before halftime.  

Minutes later, Diarra was fouled, giving the Owls a chance for a three-point play to take the lead from Pace.  

“I just wait my turn. I be patient. When I have the time to score, I score,” Diarra said. 

After gaining the lead, forward Josh McGettigan and guard Mason Williams, graduates, stepped into the zone, each scoring a three-pointer.  

In the final minutes of the first half, forward Kazell Stewart, a sophomore, was able to get a steal, forming a strong 33-22 Owls lead to end the first half.  

Entering the second half, guard Christian Joe, a freshman, was able to score two three-pointers, giving the Owls an early advantage. 

Stewart was able to lock in, collecting nine rebounds in the second.  

“As long as I stop my man, I had a good day,” Stewart said. “Trying to get the most rebounds and getting those hustle points is where I can get the energy up for the team.” 

The Owls went through another offensive drought of points midway through the second half, giving Pace some hope to come back when they were only down nine points. 

With the score 60-51, McGettigan scored his fourth three-pointer to bring the Owls closer to victory.  

Silvera then went on to shine in the last five minutes of the game, getting a three-point play after drawing a foul in the paint.  

On the next possession, he had his shot attempt blocked but recovered by hitting an impressive windmill layup after driving through four defenders.  

“I always been shifty,” Silvera said. “In practice, I do tough layups. I just be messing around with the ball, and today it paid off.” 

As the game clock ticked down to 72 seconds, the Owls had set a pace which Pace could not compete with, and they came away with a win. 

“Every game we win, we move up that ladder and get back to our goal of the start of the season,” Burrell said.  

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