Men’s Basketball Loses Two Close Matchups

Matthew Washuta

The Raiders endured a tough week, suffering a narrow loss to Boston University last Wednesday and another loss at Navy on Saturday. The Raiders lost to BU 76-74 and lost at Navy 71-61.

The Raiders played some phenomenal basketball against the Terriers on Wednesday to prove that they are able to compete with the best in the Patriot League. However, the Raiders struggled to win the game on some key final possessions. Senior forward Murphy Burnatowski led the Raiders on the offensive end scoring a season-high 27 points including six shots from downtown. The Raiders needed a strong performance from Burnatowski to keep pace with the first-place Terriers.

Junior guard Damon Sherman-Newsome built on Burnatowski’s offensive success with some strong scoring of his own. Sherman-Newsome scored a strong 15 points in the contest, 13 of which came in the second half of the game giving the Raiders the boost the team needed if it wanted to defeat the Terriers. Junior center Ethan Jacobs also provided a strong presence in the paint on the offensive side of the ball with his 11 points.

The Raider effort in the first half was strong with junior guard Luke Roh helping to initiate the Raider offense, which led to a Raider lead going into the second half. However, the Terriers were able to answer the high-scoring Raider offense with

each possession.

The Terriers took advantage of the Raiders through an effective scoring distribution from the team’s starters as well as the bench. Terriers senior forward Dom Morris provided critical points and key playmaking opportunities as he was able to score in the paint and bank quality mid-range jump shots. Terriers sophomore guard Maurice Watson Jr. proved to be a spark for the Terrier offense throughout, displaying some phenomenal playmaking abilities as he was able to find scoring opportunities of his own and for his teammates. He finished the game with 12 points and five assists.

It was Terriers sophomore guard John Papale who proved to be the difference maker down the stretch. Papale remained cool under pressure with the Terriers barely hanging on to the lead and fired many shots ultimately cementing Boston’s win at Cotterell Court. After the tough loss, the Raiders had to face Navy on Saturday, looking to rebound and collect a win. The Raiders displayed some phenomenal shooting throughout the first half of the game banking nearly 55 percent of their three point attempts. Sophomore guard Austin Tillotson led the Raider offense throughout the game scoring 24 points in the contest including four three-pointers. He also dished out four assists and brought down four defensive boards in the game proving to be the difference maker for the team.

Burnatowski contributed his consistent offensive performance providing 13 points of his own in the contest. Jacobs continued his strong presence in the paint providing eight points and drawing a couple fouls. However, the Raiders seemed overmatched in the paint as the Midshipmen scored 32 points compared to the Raiders’ 18 points. The Mids also took advantage of a couple Raider turnovers scoring 20 points off the turnovers, which only added to the deficit for the Raiders.

Despite these disadvantages, the Raiders continued to take advantage of every scoring opportunity and every possession. However, the Raiders could not leave Annapolis with the win as the team fell.

The Raiders look to rebound from these tough losses with an away game before they return home for a game Saturday against Loyola. The game will be dedicated to Alzheimer’s Awareness and is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tip off. The Raiders second-annual game promoting awareness for Alzheimer’s is co-sponsored by the sisters of Kappa Kappa Gamma and the brothers of Beta Theta Pi.

Contact Matt Washuta at [email protected]