By Ben Finkelstein II Contributing Writer
The F&M men’s basketball team overcame recent losses to Dickinson College and McDaniel College to defeat Centennial Conference Rivals Gettysburg College 70-48 this past Saturday. The result boosts the Diplomats’ record to 16-2 overall (9-2 Conference) while the Bullets dropped to 11-7 overall, 7-4 in the Conference.
Conference teams placed the Diplomats under fire after two consecutive losses, both coming in Centennial Conference action, but quickly rebounded with a two game win streak with victories against Haverford and Gettysburg.The turn around puts F&M evenly matched in second place with Dickinson in the Centennial Conference (both teams at 9-2) while Johns Hopkins remains top at 10-1. All three teams also happen to share the same overall record of 16-2, shedding light on the potential the Diplomats possess as Conference Championship contenders.
Not once in the entirety of the game did the Diplomats lose the lead, remaining in the lead long after a 6-0 drive to start the game led by team captain and Morgan Lee ‘15 who shot fifty percent from the floor and held the game-high 20 points. The Diplomats remained in charge throughout the entirety of the first half, storming ahead later with an exceptional performance from Hunter Eggers ‘17. Eggers came off the bench midway through the first half to deliver 8 points from 4-7 shooting. The sophomore guard also provided some defensive prowess with two steals and a block.
Lee delivered the standout offensive performance for F&M as team and Conference scoring leader Brandon Federici ‘18 was held to only 13 points thanks to the stubborn Gettysburg defense. Adding an additional 3 offensive rebounds and a couple of assists, Lee was a presence in the paint, finding success often as he drove to the basket time and time again. The Bullets had no answer for Lee, who averages 15.4 points a game and stands fifth in scoring in the Centennial Conference. Cedric Moune ‘15 continued his fine run of defensive form as he snagged a career-high 17 rebounds, raising his average to just over 10 rebounds per game. Moune also added an additional 9 points to the Diplomats scoresheet.
Brandon Federici, who has drawn local and even national attention thanks to his impressive scoring ability, was unfortunate to see Gettysburg defense close down on the three-point line, suppressing his knack for the three ball. Federici shot only 2 for 5 from behind the arch, but still made his offensive presence known as he scored second-most of any Diplomat that night, raising his overall tally to a resounding 354 points on the season (another Conference-leading statistic). Federici continues to lead the Centennial Conference scoring leaderboard, averaging 19.7 points a game, a number larger than that of any player of any class from any school in the Conference. Additionally, Federici sits at 29th in the nation for scoring: an indescribable feat for a freshman to achieve.
“We’re very confident now, coming off of a few unfortunate losses its huge to grab a win like this. All we can do is take it game by game and get the results that we need,” said Federici, when asked about the significance of the win.
The Diplomats return to action at home this Wednesday, February 4th at 8 PM. They will face off against Johns Hopkins where the Dips will look to gain some ground in the Conference.
Ben Finkelstein is a Contributing Writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.