The Mayser Center was ecstatic on Saturday when the F&M men’s basketball team defeated Dickinson to capture home court advantage during the Centennial Conference tournament. The final score of the game, 64-34, did not indicate that Dickinson came into the game with the same record as F&M. Even though F&M did lose to Dickinson at Dickinson back on Jan. 23, the Dips showed why they have been undefeated at home this year.
On Saturday night, Brandon Beckford ’13, Max Brewer ’13, and Hayk Gyokchyan ’13 all played their last regular season home game at the Mayser Center and were all recognized as part of Senior Night. All these seniors have played a big role in the success the F&M men’s basketball team has endured over the last four years. After the team’s practice on Friday, I asked point guard Brewer what he has learned from seniors in the past and how he has incorporated their leadership styles into this season. Brewer responded by saying he has learned to lead by example and demonstrate focus to detail on the little things that often get overlooked during games.
Right from the opening tip, F&M came out with a defensive tenacity Dickinson was not prepared for. This game was by far the best defensive effort the team has displayed all season, and it could not have come at a better time. F&M forced Dickinson to turn it over 13 times and held Dickinson to a dismal 27 percent shooting percentage.
F&M displayed a very balanced scoring attack on the offensive side of the ball. Led by Morgan Lee ’15 who scored 14 points off the bench, the Dips showed they had a will to win on Saturday. Coming out of the gate, you could tell both teams were pressing a little as there was a lot on the line for this game. Morgan came into the game with the right mind set and confidence that soon enough became contagious to the rest of the team. Gyokchyan, forward, who averages 17 points a game scored below his season average with 10 points but did tally up 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double this season. However, juniors Jon Salandra ’14 and Matt Porter ’14 picked up the production who both scored more than their season averages.
F&M maintained a comfortable 10-point lead throughout most of the game. As the second half began and F&M started to taste victory and a chance to host the Centennial Conference Tournament, they started to pull away from their opponents. Brewer hit two big threes and Salandra threw down an alley-op from Matt Porter, which caused the student sectionand the fans to erupt. The atmosphere was surely electric and the fans definitely knew what was at stake.
The F&M men’s basketball team finished the game defeating Dickinson by 30 points which is the most they have beaten a team by all season, in what could arguably be called the biggest game of the season. F&M also put up their best defensive effort this season, holding their opponent to a season low, 34 points. Overall, there wasn’t any better way for the seniors to go out for their last regular season home game as a Dip.
I asked Brewer what he has learned from being coached by Glenn Robinson over the years. “Coach Robinson is very professional and makes you pay close attention to detail,” Brewer said. “I have learned that if you run a play and execute it the way it was drawn up, it will work.”
Brewer also added that the team has something to prove this postseason and are eager for their next game, which will be on Friday, Feb. 22. F&M enters the postseason winners of five of their last six games and seem to be peaking at the right time. Holding their opponents to an average of 48 points per game over their last five wins, F&M will look to continue to put defensive pressure on the opposing team. F&M will either face Gettysburg or Muhlenberg on Friday in Mayser Center, so be sure to leave Friday night open on your calendar. The men’s F&M basketball team has practiced and played extremely hard all season; now it’s time for the F&M community to show our respect and passion for the team by showing up on Friday night and supporting the players as they look to make a run this post-season.
Questions? Email Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.