The men’s basketball team defeated the United States Coast Guard Academy to advance into the conference playoffs on the Lions’ senior day.
Prior to tipoff, the Lions honored seniors Geoff Gray, Mac Sashin, and team manager Marisa DeFranco with their families in front of a gymnasium packed with people. Gray, Sashin, and DeFranco had their career statistics and accomplishments announced while they stood with their families next to head coach Bill Curley for a photograph.
The Lions held onto the lead for the entirety of the game in their lopsided victory over Coast Guard. Emerson opened the game with a three-point field goal from junior guard Jack O’Connor. Midway through the first half, the Lions went on a 7-0 run, with
—Gray scoring all seven of the points in the streak. At halftime, O’Connor totaled 16 points and Gray 11, with a combined total of nine rebounds and 30 minutes played.
Freshman guard Zach Waterhouse opened the second half with a three-point jump shot, which gave the Lions a 26-point lead over Coast Guard.
With six minutes left, the Lions lost their largest lead of the game and went four and a half minutes without scoring a single basket, allowing Coast Guard to make a 12-point comeback
—to make it a 15-point game.
Gray and Sashin closed out their final regular season home game with a combined seven free throws made and a 97-83 victory over Coast Guard.
In a post-game interview, Curley said the team’s success in this game came from both the hard work and dedication they showed from the beginning of the school year and the leadership from Gray.
“You can look at this one game, but it’s really how they came in from the summer and approached the pre-season,” Curley said. “It came from Geoff [Gray] getting our freshmen and pushing our upperclassmen. Those guys have been working hard since September, finding ways to get in the gym, shooting, doing stuff on their own, and when they started practice it didn’t stop.”
Gray declined a post-game interview.
The Lions finished their regular season 9-5 in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference and 14-11 overall. Emerson will advance to the NEWMAC playoff semi-finals to face off against Springfield College at home on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.