Garnet Stun Ursinus 74-68 For First Win of the Season


SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Not even a mid-game power outage could deny the Swarthmore College men's basketball team of its first win of the season.

Freshman Will Gates scored a career-high 31 points - the most by any Garnet player in three seasons  - while pulling down 17 rebounds as Swarthmore (1-5, 1-1) stunned highly-regarded Ursinus 74-68 from Tarble Pavilion on a snowy afternoon at the College.

The win is the Garnet's first victory of the season and its first win against Ursinus since the 1997-98 season, snapping a streak of 22-consecutive defeats.

Gates scored a career-high 31 points - the most by a Garnet player since 2007.

Gates scored a career-high 31 points - the most by a Garnet player since 2007.

Fellow freshman Jordan Martinez scored a career-high 14 points while adding seven assists, junior Ryan Carmichael scored 11 and had two huge blocks in the final minutes and senior captain Matt Allen scored nine as the Garnet offense - which had not scored more than 60 points all season - came to life in a big way in the crucial Centennial Conference match-up.

Once again playing a patient, slow-down motion offense and trapping zone defense that gave Muhlenberg fits just a few days earlier, the Garnet controlled the tempo and pace of the game from the opening whistle. After the Bears (3-3, 0-2)  jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, the Garnet ripped off its biggest run of the season, scoring 15 unanswered points to take a 17-7 lead.

From there, the Bears mounted a slow but steady comeback for the rest of the half, but were hampered by three early first-half fouls by leading scorer Matt Hilton. The Garnet held a 25-24 lead with 1:40 remaining in the half when the lights unexpectedly went out in Tarble Pavilion, causing a 15- minute delay in play. But the Garnet remained undaunted by the delay, scoring the final basket of play to take a 27-26 lead heading into the locker room.

In the second half, Gates caught fire for the Garnet, scoring 22 of his game-high 31 points in the second frame. With 4:34 remaining and Swarthmore leading 54-50, Gates hit his biggest shot of the game, drilling a three-pointer from the left corner to extend the Garnet lead to 57-50 and sparking life into the Tarble Pavilion crowd. From that point, the Garnet defense took over, never allowing the Bears to get any closer than within five points for the remainder of the game  - with Gates and Carmichael combining to block three-consecutive Ursinus attempts over a minute span down the stretch.

From there, the Garnet hit 12 of its 15 free-throw attempts in the final two minutes, putting the final dagger in one of the biggest upsets in Garnet history.

Keith Page led the Bears with 15 points and seven rebounds while Hilton finished with 14 points.

The 31 points scored by Gates is the most by a Swarthmore player since Ian McCormick scored 36 points againt Arcadia (11/20/07).

The Garnet hit a season-high seven three-pointers and shot 50% from the field in the second half.

Swarthmore returns to action on Monday when it travels to local rival Widener. Action is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m.

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