No. 15 Swarthmore Shoots Past Bullets

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GETTYSBURG, Pa. Swarthmore College used a red-hot shooting performance and a big second half to hand the Gettysburg College men's basketball team a 77-47 loss in Centennial Conference (CC) action Tuesday night in Bream Gym.

Tonight's contest was the second game in a row that the Bullets (3-10, 2-4 CC) faced a top-25 team.

The 15th-ranked Garnet (11-2, 4-2 CC), which shot 17-of-27 (63 percent) from the field in the second half, led just 33-27 at intermission but broke the game open with a 9-0 run five minutes into the second period.

Sophomore Avery Close (Phoenixville, Pa./Phoenixville) led all scorers with 17 points, hitting 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) from the field, a perfect 3-for-3 at the free throw line, and grabbed seven rebounds. Freshman Jack Rooney came off the bench to score nine points, while sophomore Chris Jack (Reckange-Sur-Mess,Luxembourg/The Hun School of Princeton) snagged a career-high eight rebounds.

Four players registered double-figure scoring for the Garnet. Abass Sallah paced the team with 16 points, shooting 7-of-11 from the field. Conor Harkins added 15 points for the visitors, while Nate Shafer and Cam Wiley produced 12, and 11 points, respectively.

Swarthmore held an early 6-2 advantage three minutes into the opening half, but the Bullets started closing in on that gap as sophomore Evan Czulada (York, Pa./Central York) made a free throw and a layup to come within one (6-5).

The Garnet then netted seven straight to increase their lead 13-5 with 13:38 showing.

Gettysburg continued to battle with Swarthmore as the team stayed under eight points the rest of the period. Junior Nick Lord (Millersville, Pa./Penn Manor) banked back-to-back baskets and junior Nick Antolini (Babylon, N.Y./Babylon) connected on a layup to help the Bullets chip away at the deficit to pull within two (29-27) with 2:25 remaining.

In the final minute, the Garnet registered back-to-back baskets to head into the locker room with a 33-27 advantage.    

Swarthmore sparked a 9-0 run five minutes into the second half, pushing the lead to 15 (42-27). Close then netted the first two baskets to get the Bullets on the board, but then the visitors started to heat up more on the offensive end and locked down on defense.

The Garnet made a defensive stand, shutting out the Bullets for nearly five minutes while reeling a 16-0 run. Swarthmores' offense continued to flourish as they led by 32 points with 3:16 remaining. The Bullets were unable to find an offensive rhythm in the second period, giving Swarthmore its seventh-straight victory.

Swarthmore concluded the game 28-of-60 (46.7 percent) from the floor and 15-of-20 (75 percent) from the free throw line. Gettysburg shot 18-of-65 (27.7 percent) from the field. The Garnet out-rebounded the Bullets 47-38.

Gettysburg travels to Washington College for another Centennial Conference affair on Thursday at 8 p.m.