Yeomen Win Sixth; Knight Scores 1,000th Point
Men's Basketball Wins Three Games Over Winter Termby Ian Haynes
With three wins during January, the Oberlin College men's basketball team became the winningest Oberlin team in over a decade.
The Yeomen defeated Denison and Allegheny in league contests and Case Western Reserve in a non-league matchup. Oberlin also picked up their sixth win of the season against Hiram Wednesday night.
"January didn't go exactly how we wanted it to but we are heading in the right direction," Coach Mike Cavey said.
On Jan. 3, while most were still recovering from New Years Eve bashes, the Yeomen took the court against Case Western Reserve in what proved to be one of the most exciting games of the year.
After falling behind by nine points in the first half, the Yeomen rallied in the second, closing the gap and putting themselves in position to win the game with a last-second shot. Sophomore Djordje Eremic was called upon to sink it and did just that, giving Oberlin an 88-87 win. Eremic ended the game with 20 points and was perfect from the charity stripe, hitting all seven free throws. Senior James Knight hit six three-pointers on his way to leading all scorers with 31. Knight also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
Senior Maurice Elrod was the only other Oberlin player to hit double figures in scoring with 17. First-year point guard Cameron Leverett dished out nine assists in the win.
One week later, the Yeomen traveled across the state line into Pennsylvania to take on Allegheny College. Though their road woes continued in the 76-64 loss, it was a game to remember for Knight.
In just two and a half seasons of playing basketball for the Yeomen, Knight scored his 1,000th point, becoming the second player this season to do so. The other was Elrod, who did so at home against Wooster earlier in the year.
Knight finished the game with a double-double, leading all scorers with 19 while grabbing 11 rebounds. Elrod was second in scoring with 17.
The Yeomen picked up their second on Jan. 16 at home against Denison, defeating them 81-67.
Poor free-throw shooting by Denison and a balanced scoring attack by Oberlin contributed to this win. The Yeomen had four players hit double digits in scoring. Knight and Elrod led the way with 23 and 20, respectively. Eremic chipped in 12 and Leverett 10 in the win. Denison big man Charlie Delacey shot a dismal 8-20 from the free throw line in the loss.
"Delacey definitely handed us the game. Once he started missing from the line we made sure he was there the rest of the night," Leverett said.
Oberlin's final January win came on the last day of the month against Allegheny. Like all the rest of the wins this season, this one too came at home, by a margin of 80-61.
"We know how to win at home. On the road though, that's another story," Leverett said.
Once again, Knight led all scorers with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Leverett shot the lights out, scoring 20 on 5-8 shooting, including a perfect 4-4 from behind the arc and 6-6 from the charity stripe. Eremic and Elrod chipped in 12 and 11, respectively. Elrod also led both teams in assists with eight.
"Teams have been laying off [Leverett] to double up on [Elrod] and [Knight]. They have been giving him the open shot and he has been hitting it, which has helped us a lot," Cavey said. He went on to comment that Leverett leads the league in 3-point shooting percentage at 58 percent.
On Wednesday, Hiram traveled to Phillips Gymnasium to take on the Yeomen. Oberlin looked to avenge a loss to Hiram from a few weeks before. After being up 11 at the half, the Yeomen held on to win 77-70.
"When we went to Hiram, we didn't come ready to play and got spanked," first-year Julius Hill said.
"They came in with a cocky attitude thinking this game was going to be like the last one. They even brought a recruit to watch this game. That just fired us up even more," Leverett said.
Sophomore Justin Perkins led the balanced Oberlin scoring attack with 15 points on three of six shooting from behind the arch. All of Perkins' points came in the first half. Eremic was next on the team with 14 on four of six three point shooting. Leverett, who scored 22 the last time these two teams met added 12 while handing out six assists.
"Hiram's goal was to shut down [Elrod] and [Knight] and make the rest of the team beat them," Leverett said.
Knight was next on the scoring list with 11 points and eight rebounds and Elrod rounded out the five players in double figures with 10 points.
As a team, the Yeomen shot 26-52 from the floor for an even 50 percent and an outstanding 10-21 from long range for 47 percent.
Oberlin will look for their first road win this coming on Wednesday, when they travel to Indiana to take on Wabash.
Copyright © 2001, The Oberlin Review.
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