Men’s basketball loses a tight contest against Wabash, wins against Webster
Jabari Chiphe swings around to look for a pass against Blackburn in the team’s home opener (Photo by Clara Richards)
Down by three points with three seconds left on the clock, WashU had a chance to tie this game and begin the season 2-0. The ball was inbounded at the sideline to freshman Yogi Oliff. He took a dribble, stepped back, and the 3-pointer fell short as it glances off the rim.
The Washington University men’s basketball team lost the contest against Wabash College Friday evening. The Bears, composed largely of freshmen, fell short with a scoreline of 70-67. The story of the game was the poor shooting displayed by both teams, as neither team was able to shoot above 30% from 3-point range, and the Bears were barely able to shoot above 60% from the free-throw line.
The game started with a jumper from freshman Will Grudzinski. This early jumper was quickly negated as Wabash would go on an 11-0 run highlighted by multiple turnovers by the Bears. It looked like Tuesday’s crushing defeat again, but the team would not lead the game to end this early. The Bears found themselves going on a 16-5 run, bouncing back with a thunderous dunk by sophomore Drake Kindsvater. The run was also highlighted by field goals from freshman Yogi Oliff, senior Nate Bloedorn, and freshman Calvin Kapral.
It looked like WashU was getting into its stride on in-transition points as it pushed the ball up the court fast. There was an edge of grit to this younger team. The contest remained close as the Little Giants and Bears exchanged blows until the last five minutes, where Wabash pulled away on a 7-0 run. A first half defined by streaky runs by both teams ended with Wabash leading 37-30.
It was devastating to end the half like this, but the Bears started the second half energized, scoring the first four points and cutting the Wabash lead down to three. From there, Wabash took control as the Little Giants blossomed their lead to double digits following a pair of massive buckets from junior guard Edreece Redmond. This would be the most significant lead for Wabash, as the Bears roared back as the young underclassmen tandem of Oliff and Kindsvater bringing the Bears to within one point. Both teams traded buckets, with the Bears claiming the lead with 40 seconds left to play. Unfortunately, a layup and pair of free throws from Wabash closed the game in favor of the Little Giants.
On Tuesday, the team had a big game on the calendar in their matchup against local competitor Webster. Under head coach Pat Juckem’s leadership, the Bears had never won against the Gorlocks while playing in Webster’s home gymnasium.
But WashU overcame its curse in their 53-52 physical game. While the team trailed significantly in the first half, they improved their FG percentage by 8% in the second half. The game-winning shot was an arcing three-pointer from fifth-year Charlie Jacob, and Webster was unable to respond in the final fifty five seconds of the game.
The Bears have an off weekend before their fourth game of the season on Tuesday, November 22 against Millikin University.