The men’s basketball team was back early from break to host the Morris Cregger New Year’s Classic on January 2 and 3. Coming into the games the Maroons had won eight games straight, with their only loss on the season coming their first game against Lebanon Valley College. The men’s basketball team faced Kenyon College and McDaniel College at the classic and defeated both teams.
On January 2, the Maroons took the game against Kenyon College 84-76. Throughout the first period the two teams seemed evenly matched with the lead switching back and forth throughout. The men were able to take a small, 47-43, lead going into halftime. The Maroons controlled the pace of the second half. Throughout the rest of the game, Roanoke held the lead. Kenyon College was able to pull the game to within two points but never caught back up. Cameron Smith scored the final shot for the Maroons with a free throw, solidifying an 84-76 victory.
Joey Miller led the team in both field goal and free throw attempts. He made 5-8 field goals, and 2-3 three point field goals. Miller also made an astounding 10 of 11 free throws in the game. In total he scored 22 points for the Maroons. The next highest scorer for the Maroons was John Caldwell with 13 points.
The Maroons faced McDaniel College the following day for the championship game. While the Maroons won 90-84, it wasn’t without some trouble. Like the game the previous day, there were a lot of lead changes during the match. The first period alone saw a total of thirteen lead switches. At the end of the half the Maroons only had a narrow 44-43 lead.
McDaniel College showed stellar offense and defense in the second period. They held the lead for the majority of the half and at one point were winning by eight points. With less than seven minutes left in the game the Maroons were able to tie up the match. Roanoke took the lead and pressed hard to keep in in the closing minutes of the game. The Maroons held McDaniel off and took the game 90-84.
Carter Wright led this game in scoring with 21 points. He made 6-9 field goals and 5-7 three pointers, as well as making all four of his free throws. Miller also had an impressive free throw completion, making all 10 of his attempts. Smith and Daniel Hassel both put up good number too, each scoring 13 points. Coming out of the New Year’s Classic the Maroons had won ten straight games.
Next the Maroons traveled to Washington and Lee University where they won 105-96. W&L scored the first points of the game which was the only lead they had the entire match. They were able to bring the game to a tie at several points in the first half but were never powerful enough to overtake the Maroon’s lightening offense. Roanoke finished the firsts period with an incredible 53-39 lead over W&L.
In the second half Washington and Lee struggled to keep up with the Maroons. For most of the period Roanoke led by double digits, the largest margin being 19 points. In the last two minutes of the game W&L shortened the lead but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Maroons.
Smith was the high scorer in the game with 20 points. He made 7-10 field goals and all 4 three pointers and two free throws. Wright followed close behind with 19 pints. He shot 6-9 field goals and 4-6 three pointers. Wright made 3-4 free throws.
The Maroons continued their win streak when they traveled to Norfolk, VA to face Virginia Wesleyan. The Maroons won 93-84 but it wasn’t without some trouble. Wesleyan controlled the tempo for the first period. At no point were the Maroons in the lead, with the largest deficit being thirteen points. Roanoke went into halftime down 46-53.
The Maroons turned it around in the second half. Four minutes into the period the Maroons had closed the seven point deficit and had taken the lead. With just under four minutes left in the game, Wesleyan tied up the game, but the Maroon offense made sure that that didn’t last. Roanoke scored 11-13 of the final points, securing their victory.
Three Maroon players set their career high point scoring during this game. Miller led the team with 24 points, C.J. Miles scored 17, and Eli Sumpter had 13.
Later that week the Maroons hosted number 20 Hampden-Sydney in what turned out to be a disappointing 100-92 loss, ending the 12 game win streak.
In the first half the two teams seemed to be evenly matched. There were several lead changes and neither team went up by more than five points. The Maroons went into the half with a narrow 45-42 advantage over Hampden-Sydney.
In the second half there were five lead changes and four ties, showing how well matched these two teams were. The game was tied with just over seven minutes remaining, then Hampden-Sydney took the lead. While the Maroons tried to pull the game back within their reach, Hampden-Sydney outscored the Maroons, creating a buffer that allowed them to take the victory.
The Maroons came back from the loss in their next game against Randolph-Macon on the 16th. They took the game 91-85, but it wasn’t without some difficulties. The Maroons started the scoring in the first half but then trailed Randolph-Macon for most of the period. Roanoke was down by as much as 11 points through the period. With two minutes left before half the Maroons were able to take the lead with the help of a layup by John Caldwell.
In the second half Roanoke maintained their lead. Randolph-Macon tied it up thrice, but was never able to overcome the Maroons. Caldwell was perfect in the game making seven field goals, three three-pointers and two free throws.
During the first week of classes, the Maroons faced Emory & Henry and won 98-90. Like in their game against Randolph-Macon, the Maroons struggled in the first half. There were eight lead changes but the Maroons could never stay in control for more than just a few minutes. Roanoke went into halftime down by one point.
In the second half, the Maroons immediately tied it up with a free throw by John Fitchett. Over the next minute the teams traded baskets until Roanoke was able to secure their lead. In the last 18 minutes of the game the Maroons maintained a firm lead over Randolph-Macon, not even allowing them to tie up the match.
Miller made an astounding 24 points in the game. He notched 6-13 field goals, one three-pointer, and 11-12 free throws.
Due to the snow, the Maroons game against Shenandoah, originally scheduled for Saturday, was postponed until Monday night. The Maroons dominated that game 85-68. On Wednesday they fell to Randolph College 86-90 in overtime.
The Maroons are now 15-3 on the season, 7-2 in ODAC.
Be sure to come out and support the men’s team this Saturday as they face Virginia Wesleyan at 2 PM in Bast.