Marywood Men’s Basketball February recap


Photo credit/ Jason Ardan

Senior forward Jason Holman is fired up after a huge basket for the Pacers.

Feb. 1: Home vs. Neumann University

To open the month, the Pacers hosted the Neumann Knights. For a large portion of the first half, the Pacers and Knights were in a duel, answering each other’s baskets. Around the 10-minute mark of the first half, the Pacers took control of the game, scoring 21 points over the remainder of the half and taking a 44-36 into the break. At halftime, senior forward Jason Holman led the Pacers with 11 points.

The second half was more back-and-forth action, with Neumann starting to play catch up, eventually tying the game at 56 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game. However, Marywood was able to regain the lead and hold onto it until the final buzzer, wrapping up their first victory of the month, 73-69. Holman led the Pacers in scoring with 16 points, while sophomore guard Brendan Franko put together a 15-point, 11-rebound performance.

Feb 4. Away vs. Cabrini University

Following the win, the Pacers packed their bags and traveled to Cabrini University, for a matchup with the Cavaliers. A Trevor Seitz three gave the Pacers the first points of the game. Marywood held onto the lead for over 14 minutes, until the Cavaliers snagged the lead 23-22. For the remaining few minutes, the Pacers and Cavaliers traded baskets, with the Cavaliers taking a 32-31 lead into the break. Holman drained a trifecta of three, leading the Pacers with nine points at the break.

Junior guard Cole Johnson opened the second half scoring for the Pacers with a layup, taking the lead back. The Pacers firmly held the lead for almost the entire second half, taking a 13-point advantage at one point. The Cavaliers whittled away at the deficit, tying the game at 76 with 12 seconds remaining. Sophomore guard Caleb Vigil drained a layup with two seconds remaining, finishing the second straight win for the Pacers, 78-76. Vigil led the Pacers in scoring with 18 points off the bench.

Feb. 8: Home vs. Gwynedd Mercy University

Looking for their third straight win, the Pacers hosted the Gwynedd Mercy University Griffins. Holman got the Pacers offense going early, draining three three-point shots in the first few minutes of the opening half. The Pacers offense took charge, holding the lead for nearly the entire first half. Franko drained a buzzer-beating jumpshot, giving the Pacers a double-digit lead going into the break, 41-31. Holman finished the half with 12 points, all on threes.

The Pacers offense started stagnant in the second half, not hitting a shot for over five minutes, allowing the Griffins to overtake them. The Pacers then regained the lead, extending it to seven points with just under eight minutes left. The Griffins retook the lead with a few minutes remaining. The Pacers, in desperate need of a bucket, were unable to connect on a shot in the final two and a half minutes, falling to the Griffins, 80-70. Franko led the Pacers with 17 points, while Holman put together a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Feb. 11: Home vs. Marymount University

In their final home game of the regular season, the Pacers hosted the Marymount Saints. The Saints took the lead early in the half, holding onto it until a Franko three-pointer tied the game at 14 with under 12 minutes remaining in the half. Marymount went on a 17-8 run, before Marywood went on a run of its own, taking the lead on a Seitz three-pointer. The Pacers took a 38-36 lead with two minutes remaining, with neither team scoring the rest of the half. Vigil led the Pacers at the break with 11 points.

Both teams began the second half by trading baskets, with the Pacers narrowly leading for the first eight-plus minutes of the half. The team was able to overtake the Saints before another back-and-forth sequence occurred. The Saints took the lead with about nine minutes remaining. Despite being within a possession or two for the remainder of the half, Marywood was unable to take the lead back, falling to the Saints, 79-72. Vigil had a masterful performance coming off the bench with 23 points.

Feb. 15: Away vs. Immaculata University

In their final game of the regular season, the Pacers traveled to Immaculata University. The Pacers needed a victory to clinch a playoff spot in the Atlantic East tournament. The Mighty Macs offense came out hot, getting to double digits before the Pacers could hit their first shot. The Pacers were able to keep the game within reach, trading baskets with the Mighty Macs. A Holman jumpshot cut the lead to eight right before the break, which left the Pacers trailing 42-34. Seitz and Holman both had six points.

Similar to the first half, Marywood kept the game within striking distance, answering nearly every make from the Mighty Macs. The Pacers were able to slim the lead down to four a few times throughout the half. Despite the lead being within a few possessions, the Pacers were unable to overtake the Mighty Macs, dropping the contest 83-73. Johnson contributed a team-leading 16 points in the effort.

Feb. 20: Atlantic East Conference Playoffs: #6 Marywood Pacers vs. #3 Gwynedd Mercy University

The Pacers snuck into the Atlantic East Conference playoffs, thanks to a Neumann University win over Centenary University. The Pacers traveled to Gwynedd Mercy University, looking for a postseason Cinderella story. Both offenses came out hot, shooting at least 50% from the field and draining at least six threes. Marywood held the lead for the majority of the first five minutes of the opening half, before the Griffins took over. Franko hit a last second layup to cut the deficit to 10 points, 51-41. Sophomore guard Brandon Reed led the Pacers with 11 points, with Franko just behind with 10.

The Pacers and Griffins traded buckets for the early part of the second half. The Pacers were able to cut the deficit to seven with under 11 minutes left in the half. The Griffins stopped playing with their food, outscoring the Pacers 26-13 in the remaining minutes, ending the Pacers’ season by a final score of 95-75. Franko finished the game with 16 points to lead the team.

The Pacers ended their season 10-16, going 2-4 in the month of February. The Pacers’ lineup had six players finish the season averaging double digits, with Holman leading the way with 13.8 points per game, in his final season as a Pacer. Franko was the team’s leading rebounder for the season, totaling an average of 5.5 rebounds per game. Seitz was the Pacers leading assist man, averaging four per game over 26 games this season.

Coach Jon Showers’ debut season as Pacers’ head coach may not have ended the way he expected, but he has a roster that will only lose two players. With their core intact, the Pacers have the potential to be a dominant team next season.

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