As the men's basketball team headed into the locker room for half-time discussion of their game against Case Western Reserve University (12-10) on Wednesday night, you could see the shaking heads of the fans as they identified once again a familiar Yeoman plight. "They'll probably play real well now that they're down by 20," the resigned faces seemed to be thinking.
The first half was basically a running game, with Case getting many points in transition. "We got off to a pretty rocky start," guard Frank Boley said. The team shot 22.2% and missed eight of their 18 free throw attempts. Many of their missed shots were lay-ups, and Case would often capitalize on these misses with a long down-court pass for an easy two.
"This year we've been beating ourselves," Head Coach Miguel Curl said. "We can pretty much control our own destiny if we go out and play smart."
The Yeomen did actually outscore Case in the second half, and had the first half mysteriously ceased to exist, probably could have beaten the squad from Cleveland. "The second half was pretty good," Boley said. "We outscored them by three [even though] they kept all their starters in."
"You've got to take the small victories," Curl said. "We've earned some respect from our opponents. We've earned some credibility with the program."
Another victory for the team has been a resolution of internal conflicts. The result of these conflicts seems to have been a loss of senior Anthony Calloway, a former scoring leader. Neither Callaway nor Curl would comment on this conflict, except that Curl said, "Now that we've gotten over our internal conflicts we're really starting to band together. It's a team effort and no one's bigger than the team."
Curl said that a main goal of the team has been to make it to the championships. "Of course, " he said, "our goal is not just to make it to the playoffs, but win too. Making it would be a big accomplishment though." Curl also wants to make the playoffs for two of his seniors, Darryl Seldon and Mahidi Newman. "They're two hard-working kids who deserve the opportunity to play in a playoff game."
The team has three conference games left in its season before the championships start. Right now the team is ninth in the conference and needs a win to move up to eighth seed in order to make the playoffs. They would prefer to be seventh seeded and not have to play the first seeded team.
The Yeomen's next game is at Denison University (15-5) on Saturday. "We can beat Denison if we play smart and play within ourselves," Curl said. In any case, maybe the Yeoman can turn the Denison fans into familiar pictures of dejection by coming out strong in the first half and forcing Denison to catch up.
Who wants it?: Sophomore John Norris and senior Darryl Seldon fight for position to grab senior Mahidi Newman's missed 5-footer. (photo by Marian Maloney)
Copyright © 1997, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 125, Number 14; February 14, 1997
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