BY MATTHEW WEDDLETON // NOV. 16, 2015
Against one of the toughest opponents on their schedule, the Curry men’s basketball team fell in its home opener to the #8 nationally-ranked Elmhurst Bluejays by a score of 83-61 Sunday afternoon in Milton.
Elmhurst jumped out to a 26-2 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game, going into the half with a 44-22 lead.
Curry (0-2) struggled from the tip-off in this one, shooting 31% in the first half. The Colonels didn’t get going until the second half, where they matched Elmhurst’s 39 points in the half.
It was evident the Colonels had trouble moving the ball into the paint all game. As a result of Elmhurst’s stout defense inside, Curry was forced to take a bevy of threes with the shot clock winding down.
The Colonels couldn’t seem to rebound the ball either, getting outrebounded 44-22.
“I think we did not do a great job boxing out,” said Coach Matt LeVangie. “I thought we tried to jump on a team that was much bigger and more physical than we are.”
Junior Paul Presiosi led the way for the Colonels dropping 14 points on the day, along with 6 rebounds. Freshman Jason O’Neil also showed some great signs, finishing with 12 points shooting 4 of 6 from the field.
LeVangie made substitutions early and often, trying to find a unit to stop the bleeding. Young players like sophomore Connor Teahan and freshman James Gibson got a chance, but nothing seemed to work for the Colonels.
Curry comes into this season with a young squad and a brand new coach, so regardless of their slow start to the season, confidence has remained high.
“I think over the next coming weeks we’re going to be much, much better,” said Teahan. “We just need to play within ourselves.”
The Colonels will have another tough task on Friday night, as they face off against WPI on the road.
LeVangie says the big thing for his team moving forward is handling the pressure. He also emphasized how playing team basketball is going to be important to his team’s success.
Learning from the best: The Colonels went against tough competition Sunday afternoon vs. Elmhurst, who is ranked 8th in the country according to D3Hoops.com. Curry’s next matchup against WPI will be another grind, as WPI is ranked 6th in the Northeast rankings.
Pina benched in the second half: After starting Sunday’s game, James Pina was benched for the entire second half, recording just 11 minutes in the game. There’s no word on whether Pina suffered an injury, or whether he got benched for a poor performance after shooting 1-6 in the first half.
Early Season Struggles: Curry ranks near the bottom of the Commonwealth Coast Conference in nearly every statistical category including points per game, blocks, steals, assists, and rebounds.