Playoff Hopes Dashed as Garnet Fall to Washington College 73-64


SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Down 18 points in the second half, the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (5-16, 4-10) mounted a furious rally  get to within six points of visiting Washington College (11-8, 9-6) with under three minutes to play,  but two big baskets from Washington's Kevin Breslin  - who scored a career-high 31 points - halted the rally and helped the Shoremen hang on for the 73-64 victory over the Garnet on Friday evening from Tarble Pavilion.

Martinez scored 13 points to rally the Garnet back into the game.

Martinez scored 13 points to rally the Garnet back into the game.

Freshman Will Gates (Willseyville, N.Y./Condor Central) led the Garnet with 19 points and nine rebounds - marking the 12th consecutive game in which he has scored in double figures and led the Garnet in scoring. Freshman Jordan Martinez (Westbury, N.Y./Episcopal) added 13 points and four assists while senior captain Matt Allen (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) scored 10.

Swarthmore once again struggled to find any kind of shooting rhythm until late in the game, finishing the game shooting just 29 percent and 11-of- 41 from inside the arc. The Washington defense also limited Gates - the sixth leading scorer in the Conference - to just 5-of-24 shooting from the field.

Swat stayed in the game until the final seconds thanks to excellent free-throw shooting - connecting on 18 of 24 foul shots.

Thanks to three-pointers from senior Allen and Gates in the final minute of the first half, the Garnet found themselves down just 27-23 at the half.

But in the second half, the Washington offense came to life, and it was all Shoremen for the first 10 minutes of the second stanza. Washington took control of the game, using separate 15-4 and 12-2 runs to take total command of the game. Free-throws from Breslin gave the Shoremen their largest lead of the game at 56-38  with 10:15 left to play.

Despite the large deficit, the Garnet would make a serious run midway through the second half to get back into the game. A three-point from freshman Sean Conroe, a jumper from Martinez and free-throws from Allen with under seven minutes remaining sparked the late Swat rally, cutting the lead back into single-digits at 58-49 with 6:50 remaining.

Martinez got into the act again, scoring four of the Garnet's next six points, as his free-throws with 3:07 remaining cut the lead down to 61-55 and brought the Tarble crowd back into the game.

But that was as close as Swat would get - thanks to Breslin. He scored the next four points - all on driving lay-ups down the left lane - bringing the lead back to double-digits at 65-55 and sealing the deal for the Shoremen.

Washington finished with a significant 34-14 edge in points in the paint. Alan Kines added a double-double for Washington, scoring 17 points and adding 10 rebounds.

The loss snaps the Garnet's three-game winning streak from Tarble Pavilion and all but eliminates any thoughts Swat had of sneaking into the Centennial Conference playoffs.

It's  a very quick turnaround for Swarthmore, as the team travels to Dickinson tomorrow for another Centennial tilt. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.

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