Men’s basketball loses in blowout on road against NYU
Faced with an early 11-0 deficit, the No. 4 Washington University men’s basketball team needed its sharpshooters to close the gap on the road against New York University.
Instead, the Bears were hampered by strong perimeter defense from the Violets while NYU hit three-pointer after three-pointer en route to a 91-67 beat down of the Bears on Friday, its second 20-point loss of the month.
On Sunday, Wash. U. rebounded with a 79-68 road victory against Brandeis University to finish up its weekend on the road with a split of two conference games. The Bears (14-2 overall, 3-2 in conference) have scored at least 70 points in each of their wins this season.
NYU concluded the first half of Friday’s game with a 9-2 run to establish a dominant 25-point lead, marking the largest halftime deficit of the season for the Red and Green. The Bears missed all 10 of their three-point attempts in the half and shot only 34.3 percent from the field.
Defensively, the Bears allowed the Violets to connect on 8-of-12 three-pointers despite contesting perimeter shots.
“That’s not normally their game. Their game is they’ve got two very good post players,” head coach Mark Edwards said. “They force teams to have to play inside defense and to help inside and it opens up that outside shot and they were hitting them. We were contesting them. It’s not like they were standing there wide open; they were hitting tough shots.”
In the second half, NYU’s scorching-hot shooting cooled off slightly. Wash. U. shored up its perimeter defense and held NYU to two three-pointers on 11 attempts. The Bears’ offense also improved slightly, with Wash. U. shooting 42.4 percent from the field. But those improvements were only enough to maintain the deficit at around 25 points—not to mount a comeback for the Red and Green.
Overall, NYU outpaced Wash. U. in nearly every major offensive category while its bench contributed 39 points. From beyond the arc, Wash. U. shot a paltry 11.1 percent (2 for 18) compared to 43.5 percent (10 for 23) from NYU. The Bears put together a similar shooting performance in their only other loss of the season against the University of Chicago, when Wash. U. scored just 43 points and shot 30.3 percent from the field.
“[NYU] brought a lot of energy to the game and they were hitting some shots,” Edwards said. “We just didn’t respond very well. I know we shot the ball well pretty much all season except for Chicago and this game, and you can’t get away with that in this conference. This conference is too tough this year.”
The Red and Green redeemed themselves two days later by pulling away in the second half to win against Brandeis. After the Bears held a 38-37 lead at halftime, the Judges started the second half on a 7-0 run before the Bears rattled off 19 consecutive points, highlighted by three straight layups from senior forward Matt Palucki.
With a 57-44 lead and just over 12 minutes to play, the Bears seemed in control of the game, but three straight three-pointers from the Judges brought the score back within four. But a trio of three-pointers from junior guard Luke Silverman-Lloyd put the game out of reach for good.
Silverman-Lloyd finished the game with a career-high 20 points and six three-pointers on nine attempts. Senior point guard David Fatoki also chipped in with 10 points and 11 assists for his third double-double of the season. After a rough shooting start to the road trip, the Bears shot 53.4 percent from the field against Brandeis, including 40 percent from the behind the arc.
“I think the big thing is we came out with a lot of energy. On both ends of the floor we were able to execute our game plan,” Edwards said. “It was a great game for a while. It was a typical Sunday UAA afternoon game where you just have to come ready to play and hope that you have enough energy to pull it out.”
Wash. U. looks to improve on its middling 3-2 conference record when it returns to action next weekend against conference opponents Carnegie Mellon University and No. 25 Case Western University.