Emory’s men’s basketball team had a relatively unsuccessful Thanksgiving weekend, losing against LaGrange (Ga.) and Maryville College (Tenn.) at the Maryville College Thanksgiving Classic, giving up 91 points in both games.
Against Maryville, the Eagles fell to 4-2, losing 91-67 to the Scots. Emory trailed by a mere three points at halftime and tied the game three separate times in the first half, but were unable to keep the game close in the second half. Much of the blame goes to Emory’s abysmal shooting performance in the second half. Though they kept it close with good defense in the first half, Emory shot 39.4 percent (13 for 33) from the field in the second half, while Maryville shot 58.3 percent (7 for 12) from three and 55.9 percent (19 for 34) overall in the second half to pull away.
Junior guard Jonathan Terry went six for 10 from the field and scored all of his 14 points in the second half to lead the Eagles score-wise, while also adding eight rebounds to his box score. This was Terry’s third double-digit scoring game on the season so far. Senior forward Will Trawick came in second for the Eagles with 13 points in addition to five rebounds while making all four of his free throws.
Much of the Eagles’ downfall was their inability to shoot the three ball. Despite attempting 27 three pointers, Emory only made six of them, shooting an overall 22.2 percent on the day. In the first half, Emory continuously went to the three pointer despite shooting 15.4 percent (2 for 13).
“We’re not going to change our three-point philosophy; we’re good three point shooters,” coach Jason Zimmerman said. “We’re a good shooting team. We just have to get better shots. We just have to take better shots.”
Though the loss against Maryville was by a larger margin, the loss against LaGrange was more surprising.
In a close matchup against LaGrange, Emory fell 91-86 to fall for the second straight game and dropped to 4-3 on the season. Emory had traditionally beaten LaGrange year in, year out.
In this evenly matched game, the Eagles and the Panthers tied in both field goal percentage (45 percent) and rebounds (37). Emory had a better three-point percentage, going 13 from 31 for a 41.9 percent mark, while LaGrange shot just six for 21 for a 28.6 percent mark.
However, it was the turnovers that ultimately cost Emory the game. Emory committed a season-high of 21 turnovers in the game, helping LaGrange score 21 and a +10 margin in points off of turnovers.
Senior guard/forward Davis Rao and Terry scored 15 points each to lead the Eagles in scoring. Junior center Austin Dague and sophomore guard Adam Gigax each added 13 points and six rebounds apiece, and sophomore Whit Rapp added 10 points and 12 assists to round out the players who scored in double figures in the game.
“There’s a whole lot we need to improve on,” Zimmerman said after the game. “We need to have better staying power, we need to prolong our good segments. We’d have four-minute segments where [we’d do] really well, then have four-minute segments where we’d lose focus. Biggest thing we gotta do is sustain our focus for longer periods.”
Emory will try to learn from the mistakes of Thanksgiving weekend and rebound when they play at Guilford College on Dec. 6.
“Guilford is a very good program, a traditional powerhouse in our region,” Zimmerman said. “Playing at Guilford is gonna be a challenge for us, [as] we’re going to have to be better at what we do if we’re gonna have a chance to win.”