What’s going on in the CC?

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With four games left until the Centennial Conference (CC) playoffs, the men’s and women’s basketball teams are fighting to ensure their spot in the top 6. On Saturday, Feb. 4, the women’s matchup was between two heavy hitters, the John Hopkins University Blue Jays and the Haverford College Black Squirrels. While on the men’s side of the CC, the recently defeated Gettysburg College Bullets (#4) traveled to the den to face off against the Ursinus College Bears (#3).

The Blue Jays have cruised through this season with only two bumps in the road as they lost to the Dickinson College Red Devils (#2) and the Bullets (#3). However, these losses came early in the season, since then the Blue Jays have been rolling over winning most games by double-digits. Haverford, on the other hand, has had a season of inconsistency, with an offense that is dependent on their PG Ally Landau flexing her scoring talent. Landau in high school scored over 2,000 points and has carried this innate ability to find her spot into her college career. In the Centennial Conference she is second in average points by only .4, with 16.9 PPG. 

Haverford came fast out of the blocks racking up a 10-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game. For the Blue Jays it seemed like the lid would never come off the basket. But no overarching synopsis was going to fit this dynamic game. The Blue Jays clawed their way back to a 2 point deficit. The Blue Jays would go on to outscore Haverford in the second quarter, shooting the lights out with a 53 percent FG percentage compared to the dismal 15 percent shot by Haverford. 

The next two quarters would bungee cord as Haverford would come close to regaining the lead. The Blue Jays outscored Haverford from the bench and off turnovers, so no matter the 23 points scored by Landau she could not carry her team. Additionally, Olivia Parisi, a graduate student at Hopkins, scored an all season high of 25 points. The buzzer sounded and the Blue Jays had won 55-49. They were still the team to beat. 

In their games on Tuesday, Feb. 7 the Blue Jays continued their successful campaign. Haverford lost to the Muhlenberg Mules who demonstrated their ability to defeat the #3 Bullets and #4 Haverford.

Meanwhile, in the den the Bears were seeking redemption against the Bullets who had beaten them on Jan. 7 in OT.  

Often, games are determined in the first ten minutes. These ten minutes show coaches the weak links. These ten minutes can get in a star point guard’s head. These ten minutes can lead to an early lead from an energetic underdog. The first ten minutes of this game was a back-and-forth, neither team seizing control of the scoreboard and neither team controlling the ball well (both teams would end the game with 33 combined turnovers). By the end of the half the Bears had taken a narrow lead of five points. A lead that they would maintain well into the second half, leading at most by 8 points at times. Nate Williams, a freshman guard from New Jersey, would eventually break the ice with one of his two three-pointers for the night, with eight minutes left in the game. From there the score would tie and the lead would switch twice before the Bullets came away with the 72-67 lead.

Neither team looked particularly stronger than the other as they ended in a tie for third. Sitting in fourth the Mules will look to bring the same energy that they brought against Gettysburg to their game on Feb. 15 versus the Bears. 

Matthew joined the Weekly Sports Section in his freshman year to tell the inspiring and compelling stories that transpire over points, games, and seasons.

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