Marywood Men’s Basketball January recap


Photo credit/ Jason Ardan

Junior Cole Johnson (33) drives to the lane.

Jan. 4: Home vs. Centenary University

To open the month of January, the Pacers began Atlantic East Conference play by hosting the Cyclones of Centenary University. Like many games this year, the Pacers fell behind early. Marywood struggled to find offensive consistency, shooting only 37.1% from the field and only 18.2% from behind the arc. They went into the break trailing the Cyclones 47-33. Senior forward Jason Holman led the Pacers in scoring for the half with eight points. Early in the second half, the Cyclones extended the lead to 20 points, before the Pacers went on a 19-9 run, to bring the game within 10, forcing the Cyclones to call a timeout.

Following the break, the Pacers inched closer to taking the lead, with the Cyclones going tit for tat every time Marywood scored. The Pacers went into the final minute down by two, before sophomore guard Caleb Virgil drained a jumper with 37 seconds left, tying the game at 81. A miss by Centenary’s guard Tyler White with three seconds remaining forced overtime. The Pacers never led in overtime, largely due to their poor shooting performance, losing their first conference matchup of the season 91-88. Marywood’s leading scorer was sophomore guard Brendan Franko, scoring 17 points off the bench on 80% shooting. Junior forward Cole Johnson, despite a low shooting percentage, produced a double-double, scoring 12 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds.

Jan. 7: Away vs. Neumann University

Following the loss, the Pacers traveled to Neumann University to face off against the Knights. The Pacers jumped out in front quickly, starting the game on an 8-0 run. Marywood was able to extend its lead to 15 points, before Neumann brought the game back within single digits, before tying it at 31 with just over three minutes remaining in the half. After a little back and forth, the Pacers grabbed the lead and took it into the break, leading 41-39. Junior guard Trevor Seitz connected on four three-point attempts, leading the Pacers at the break with 12 points.

For the first 13 minutes of the second half, neither team was able to create separation, as the Pacers and Knights traded leads. Neumann then started to create separation, with the Pacers playing undisciplined, committing 11 fouls, including two technical fouls in the final seven minutes. The Knights shot 31 free throws in the second half, making 27 of them. Earning 27 free points in the half made the difference as the Pacers fell to the Knights, 101-83, despite one of the Pacers best shooting performances. Franko led the way for Marywood again, with 19 points on perfect shooting in the game. Johnson managed another double-double, this time grabbing 11 rebounds, while scoring 16 points.

Jan. 11: Away vs. Gwynedd Mercy University

In their third Atlantic East Conference matchup, the Pacers traveled to Griffin Complex at Gwynedd Mercy University. The first half saw the Pacers and Griffins fight tooth-and-nail, with neither team taking a lead bigger than six points, nor either team holding the lead for more than a few minutes at a time. Thanks to a three-pointer by Johnson, the Pacers took a narrow one-point lead into the break, leading 48-47. Sophomore guard Mason Mendygral made a pair of threes in the first half, contributing eight first half points to lead the Pacers.

The first five minutes of the second half was similar to the first, seeing a back-and-forth battle. However, it wasn’t long before the Griffins’ offense exploded, jumping out to a 19 point lead. Though the Pacers were able to shrink the lead, it was insurmountable, and they lost their third straight conference game, 95-82. Franko led the Pacers in scoring for the third straight game, totaling 14 points.

Jan. 14: Home vs. Cabrini University

The Pacers returned home following their third straight January loss to host the Cabrini Cavaliers. Both the Cavaliers and Pacers were looking for their first conference victory For the first 10 minutes of the half, neither team’s offense was able to get any consistency going. Marywood then took over the game, taking a 12- point lead at one time, before leading at halftime, 32-23. Franko led the Pacers in points at the break with 11.

In the second half, the Pacers created too much separation for the Cavaliers to overcome. The team shot 56.7% from the field, while converting seven of 13 three point attempts in the half. The Pacers finished their first Atlantic East Conference win of the season, 79-57. Franko led the Pacers in scoring again, scoring his season high of 25 points, while also collecting 11 rebounds and dishing out six assists. Seitz drained four three-pointers, on his way to a double-double of his own, accounting for 13 of the Pacers’ points and 10 rebounds.

Jan. 18: Home vs. Central Pennsylvania College

In their only non-conference bout of the month, the Pacers hosted the Knights from Central Pennsylvania College. This game was all Pacers and the team never trailed. Mendygral and Holman dominated the half, scoring 25 of the Pacers 50 points. The Pacers went into the halftime break up by 18.​​ The second half was more of the same from the Pacers, getting out to a 20-point lead within the first five minutes of the half. The Pacers led by as many as 36 points in the half. The big lead gave coach Jon Showers the ability to get some of his bench players some minutes. The Pacers finalized their second straight win, taking down the Knights by a final score of 108-72. The 108 points was the Pacers’ season high, outpacing their opening game this season, in which they scored 107 points against The King’s College (NY). Franko and Holman were the two leading scorers, with both contributing 19 points in the victory.

Jan. 21: Away vs. Marymount University

Following the wins at home, the Pacers were back on the road, this time traveling to Arlington, Va. to face off against the Marymount Saints. Following the tipoff, it was back-and-forth the whole half. Every time the Saints converted on a shot, the Pacers shortly followed. The largest lead of the half was seven points by the Saints. The Saints held the lead going into the break, up 35-31. Johnson was responsible for 10 of the Pacers’ points, converting a pair of threes.

A similar result happened in the second half, with the Saints and Pacers trading baskets. Marymount was able to widen the lead to 11 points, before the Pacers went on a 12-2 run to tie the game at 62. After a pair of makes and a handful of missed jumpers, the Pacers and Saints were deadlocked at 64, forcing overtime. Overtime was another trading of baskets in the early portion of the period. The Saints were able to extend the lead to seven points, which was large enough to hold onto the victory over the Pacers 80-73. Mendygral led the Pacers in scoring with 16 points, draining four threes in the game.

Jan. 28: Away vs. Centenary University

After the postponement of a game versus Immaculata, the Pacers traveled to face off against the team they opened the month with, the Centenary University Cyclones. The victory over Marywood was Centenary’s only victory in the Atlantic East Conference. Like many of the games they’d played so far in January, the Pacers would be locked into a back-and-forth battle. The teams traded leads, with neither team opening more than a six-point margin.. The Cyclones held the lead by two going into the break, 39-37. Johnson led the Pacers offense with nine points before the break.

For about the first eight minutes of the second half, it seemed the game would be a continuation of the first period. However, the Cyclones offense eventually stormed ahead, taking a double-digit lead, going on a 31-16 run in the final 12 minutes of the half, completing a sweep against the Pacers for the season series, 86-71. A key to the Pacers’ downfall was their shooting efficiency from behind the arc, going just 3-20 in the second half. Johnson and Franko both led the way for the Pacers with 12 points each.

Jan. 30: Home vs. Immaculata University

The final matchup of the month was a rescheduling of the postponed Jan. 25 matchup between these two Atlantic East opponents. For a good portion of the first half, Marywood and Immaculata were going shot for shot. The Mighty Macs went on a quick 7-0 run to create some separation, before the Pacers tied it up, followed by the Mighty Macs going on a 14-5 run, to end the half up nine, 40-31. Vigil was leading the way for the Pacers with nine points

Following the break, Immaculata extended its lead slightly, holding a double-digit margin for around 17 minutes in the half. The Pacers were trailing by nine with just under three minutes remaining and needed a bunch of big time plays to have a chance to force overtime if not win. Marywood played its best basketball of the evening, with Vigil draining a huge three, Mendygral drawing a foul on a shot and hitting a huge three, while Seitz contributed a critical steal. Still, the Pacers trailed by three with just about six seconds remaining. The Pacers inbounded it and rushed up the court, with Franko taking the three to tie, but it came up short. The Pacers dropped their sixth conference game 83-80. Holman finished the night as the Pacers top scorer with 17 points on the evening.

The Pacers had a rough month of January, finishing 2-6, only winning one of their seven conference games. Franko led the Pacers for the month in scoring, averaging 16.1 points per game. The leading rebounder was Seitz, averaging 5.9 rebounds per game. Seitz and Junior guard Corey Perkins led the way in assists for the Pacers, averaging 3.3 per game.

Marywood continues their season with another Atlantic East Conference matchup, hosting the Neumann University Knights tonight at 8 p.m.

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