The Emory men’s basketball team had a rough end to its 2018-19 season. The Eagles lost its opening round game of the NCAA Division III tournament to Wittenberg University (Ohio) 100-88.
With the win, Wittenberg moved on to the second round to face Guilford College (N.C.).
Sophomore guard Matt Schner scored a game-high 25 points and collected seven rebounds, while sophomore forward Matt Davet, sophomore guard Romin Williams and sophomore forward Lawrence Rowley also scored in double figures.
However, when the Eagles needed a stop on defense, they were simply unable to perform.
“The first 10 minutes [of the first half] we played pretty well, and we got into a pretty good flow offensively,” Head Coach Jason Zimmerman said. “Defensively, we weren’t as attentive to detail as we needed to be, and we gave them too many open shots.”
The Eagles rebounded in the second half with a quick 6-2 run that cut the deficit to six. The next seven minutes proved critical. The Eagles came within five points of Wittenburg on four occasions, but ultimately failed to break through. The Eagles again got within seven points with 8:22 remaining, but Wittenburg prevailed and coasted into the second round.
Though the Eagles shot 55.9 percent from the field, Wittenberg outdid them with a season-high 59.3 percent from the field and 55 percent from three.
In addition to their inferior shooting, the Eagles also struggled with turnovers, a rare occurrence for them during the season. In total, the Eagles ended up with 17 miscues, tying its second-highest total of the year.
Zimmerman commended the team’s four seniors Gebereal Baitey, Beau Bommarito, Spencer Osborne and Joey Katz after the game.
“Our four seniors left a great roadmap, a great legacy,” Zimmerman said. “They won 82 games [and] a UAA [University Athletic Association] championship, so these four seniors helped leave the jersey in a better place.”
While the game was the last for Baitey, Bommarito, Osborne and Katz, the Eagles will return most of their scoring next year and seem primed for an even deeper tournament run.