By Nick Giorgou
It was a rocky beginning to December for the Five Towns College Men’s Basketball team. They are starting the month 0-2 after the team played Purchase College on December 1st, followed by Bryant & Stratton- Albany on December 3rd. The Sound demonstrated a good fight in both games, but couldn’t find the edge over their opponents. The team is now 2-6.
Coming off a 78-63 win in their last game versus Kings College on November 20th, FTC hosted Purchase College at home on December 1st. The Sound jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead, with Damani Merritt scoring 6 of their first 8 points. The lead didn’t last long, though. Purchase College went on to take the lead, going on a 14-0 run and not letting their foot off the gas. The half would end with Purchase up 38-24. Matthew Phillips led Purchase with 9 points, and Tyler Bond had 12 points for the Sound.
In the second half, Five Towns again started strong and cut the lead down to 4 with 14 minutes left in the game. The momentum didn’t last, and Purchase took advantage of the Sound’s missed opportunities and slowly re-grew the lead to an ultimate 83-72 victory.
Roy Jimenez, Assistant Coach for Five Towns, emphasized the inconsistencies in the team’s play. “We just got to play defense and play offense consistently. We can’t go two minutes without scoring, two minutes without playing defense.” Purchase also outrebounded the Sound 53-38 and had 22-second chance points, as opposed to the Sound’s 7-second chance points.
On December 3rd, the Sound traveled to Albany to face the Bryant & Stratton Bobcats. The Sound quickly fell behind due to two steals converted into points for the Bobcats. Both turnovers were forced by Bryant & Stratton’s Amari Scott, who would finish the game with three steals and lead his team in scoring with 18 points. The Bobcats would maintain their lead into the half, ahead 29-20. Second-chance points were again a significant factor in this game. Even though Five Towns shot better from the field than Bryant & Stratton, they only had 6-second chance points as opposed to 23 from the Bobcats.
The Sound made some solid second-half adjustments, but they weren’t enough to overcome the first-half deficit. Even though both teams scored 39 points in the second half, Bryant & Stratton- Albany took the win 68-59.
Sophomore Guard Kyle Moppert summed up the game with some positive takeaways, saying, “This was our best defensive game by far this season, and all of us across the board fought hard until the end.”
The team will be tested in their next matchup when they host Vaughn College at home on Wednesday, December 7th, at 8 pm. The game will be live-streamed on The FTC Record Online.