Wheaton Men’s Basketball ended its season at the NEWMAC quarterfinals last Wednesday in an overtime loss to Springfield. The season had gone well and the NEWMAC birth had proven to be an improvement from last season.
The Lyons ended the regular season with a 10-15 record, which gave them the fifth seed in the NEWMAC tournament. Players said the playoff birth was attributed largely due to the team’s depth and chemistry. “This is the most close knit group of guys we’ve had in my time here, and our bond has had a positive impact on our team performance. My favorite aspect of the team is our depth,” team captain Quinton Dale ’17 said, “everybody [is] ready to get in a game and make a difference if they’re called on.”
Dale ’17 said that while the team had trouble with perimeter shooting and rotations, they had improved defensively throughout the season. Prior to the NEWMAC matchup, the team was excited for their postseason. “It’s the first time any of us have made it this far,” Dale ’17 said prior to the NEWMAC game. “Intensity in practice has definitely been ramped up, and guys are competing as hard as ever.”
Despite the Lyons defense and preparation, Springfield’s offense was able to capitalize on foul shots opportunities (39) and win the game 85-82 in overtime. The Lyons were up by eight points with over a minute left, but the game went into overtime due to missed foul shots by the Lyons and key baskets from Springfield’s offense. Dale ’17 finished the game with a team high of 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Despite the loss, the Lyons captain still said the Wheaton community has always acted as great motivation and support. “I love representing my school every time I step out on the court,” Dale ’17 said, “I’ll miss it dearly.”