Men’s basketball’s woes continue, Jackets fall to 0-6 at Oberlin

Another mark in the loss column has been made for the winless Waynesburg men’s basketball team after its 80-55 loss to Oberlin College Saturday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets are now 0-6, and all losses have come against non-conference teams.

As the struggles continued, the Yeomen [5-2, 0-1] handed the Jackets their worst loss of the season, cruising to victory via a 25 point cushion. In fact, in all of their losses, the Jackets have lost by double digits, their closest game being 13 points.

The first half of the game sparked a little optimism for Waynesburg, as the Jackets were only down  39-32 at the half. 

 “I thought we played very well in the first half,” coach Tim Fusina said. “I thought we had spacing good offensively.

Fusina was happy with the Jackets’ performance on both ends of the floor in the first 20 minutes.

It was all Oberlin in the second half, however, as the Yeomen outscored the Jackets, 41-23. Fusina saw many things that hurt the Jackets in the second-half.

“Our spacing was poor,” Fusina said. “Our changing to the ball was poor, our screening was poor. We didn’t work for shots in the second half, and defensively, we allowed the ball inside too much.”

Isaiah Alonzo and Brennan Smith led the Jackets in scoring with 14 points each. 

For Oberlin, it was point guard Joshua Friedkin who lead the team with 22 points. Friedkin was a main focus for the Jackets before coming into the game.

“He made shots when he needed to, he was able to drive and create, [and] get to the line,” Fusina said. “Yesterday in practice we focused in on somebody we needed to stop, and we did not.”

With the injury to junior guard Matt Popeck, who led the team in scoring last season, the Jackets had to adjust their game plan, as they’ve had to do for four of their six games. 

“Especially with Matt being out,” Smith said, “We have to find our offense just some other way.”

In addition, the size of Oberlin and the style of their play were things that affected Waynesburg in the game.

“They were tall,” Smith said, “we just tried to find little ways around it: cutting, screening, just little ways that would help us get open for shots.”

The Yeomen outrebounded the Jackets 34-22 in the game, which also played a big factor in the outcome.

With the first half of the  non-conference schedule out of the way,  Waynesburg is looking forward to playing its first Presidents’ Athletic Conference matchup. It comes against Grove City College this Wednesday. Fusina knows what Waynesburg has ahead of it in playing the Wolverines.

“What I expect from Grove City is what they’ve always been,” Fusina said, “and that’s a team that doesn’t hurt themselves. They know how to defend, they’re going to make it very difficult on us on the offensive end.”

Fusina also expressed that the Jackets have to play their role in order to have the best outcome Wednesday night.

“If we are going to win games in our league, we need to be able to compete for forty minutes,” Fusina said.