SWARTHMORE, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's basketball team found itself on the wrong end of Swarthmore's long-range exploits, as the hosts started cooking midway through the first half and never let up on the way to an 83-64 Centennial Conference result. The Garnet made 11 of their first 16 3-point attempts and finished 13 for 25 on the night, leading by as much as 28 in putting a stop to the Bears' three-game winning streak.
Freshman forward Matt Williams paced Ursinus (9-10, 5-7) with 14 points, and sophomore forward Joseph LoStracco chipped in 12 points, five rebounds and a couple of blocks. Sophomore guard Brian Rafferty had 11 points, four rebounds, and four assists, while senior guard Malik Draper finished with nine markers. Sophomore forward Remi Janicot scored eight points, and junior forward Patrick Mekongo paired seven points with five boards.
Swarthmore (16-4, 10-3), which received a vote in the most recent D3hoops.com national poll, was as dominant on the inside as it was on the outside, racking up a 40-22 rebounding surplus. Zack Yonda led all scorers with 18 points, and Henry Cousineau made four 3-pointers to finish with 16. Matt Brennan chipped in 15 points and Sam Lebryk 12 for the Garnet, who took over sole possession of second place with the win and Johns Hopkins' victory over Gettysburg.
After Swarthmore scored the first points of the game, Ursinus reeled off nine in a row and kept the high-powered home team at arm's length for the first ten minutes. The Bears maintained a seven-point spread (21-14) when LoStracco hauled in an offensive rebound and powered in for a three-point play at the 9:56 mark, but the tide turned quickly from there.
Holding the Bears scoreless for the next four and a half minutes, the Garnet scored 13 unanswered points – and 20 of the next 23 overall – to seize the upper hand. Swarthmore caught fire from behind the arc, making five of their nine attempts from downtown in the first half
Cousineau connected on all three of his long-range efforts in the opening stanza, scoring 11 points to lead a balanced effort that included nine from Brennan, eight from Yonda, seven from Lebryk, and six from Robbie Walsh. Cousineau's straight-on 3-pointer in the final seconds of the period staked Swarthmore to a 41-32 advantage at intermission.
The Garnet re-opened a double-digit spread on a trey by Yonda in the first minute of the second session, and it grew to a dozen when Shane Loeffler buried one from the top of the key, delivering a 47-35 lead with 18:40 to play. Rafferty answered with one of his own, only for Brennan to connect from the left corner, and the Swarthmore sharpshooter swished another on a kick-out following an offensive rebound, forcing Ursinus into a timeout with 15:55 remaining and the deficit having ballooned to 53-38.
After a Draper drive on the right baseline, six straight points for Swarthmore pushed the margin out to 21, and another triple out of the hands of Cousineau made it 64-42 with 11:47 remaining. The Garnet led 73-45 before settling on a 19-point differential.
The Bears welcome Washington College to Helfferich Hall for a Centennial Conference tilt on Thursday, February 4.