(Carlisle, Pa.) – The Dickinson men's basketball team suffered its first Centennial Conference loss of the season, falling to #12-ranked Swarthmore College, in a rematch of the 2017 conference championship. Swarthmore would hold off a late rally to claim a 78-66 decision at the Kline Center.
The Garnet came out strong, scoring the first 23 points of the game. The Red Devils regrouped and kept their composure, clawing back into the game to pull within nine at the end of the first half.
Seven different players scored over the final 10 minutes as Dickinson used a balanced attack to rally. Senior Jon Stenger (Midlothian, Va./James River) got the Devils started with a three-pointer, triggering a 13-3 run to cut the margin to 10, with 9:07 to play.
The teams played even to close out the first half with Swarthmore holding a 34-25 advantage.
Justus Melton (Charlotte, N.C./Covenant Day) knocked down a three-pointer to start the second, cutting the lead to six. Swarthmore answered with a 12-5 run to stretch the lead back to 13, with 14:21 to play.
The Garnet held a double-digit lead until another late run by the Red Devils cut the margin to just six, in the final minute of the game. The Red Devils trailed by 15 with 3:47 left on the clock. Chris McNeal (Collegeville, Pa./Episcopal Academy) and Bryce Allen (Albany, N.Y./The Hill School) started the run with a pair of three-pointers.
Melton hit another three, following a pair of free throws from Mike Hinckley (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Episcopal Academy), and Allen went to the line to make the score, 72-66, with 54 seconds remaining in regulation.
Swarthmore went 4-for-4 from line and added a field-goal for the final of 78-66.
Nate Shafer led the Garnet with a double-double, scoring 18 points and controlling 11 rebounds as they improve to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference.
Hinckley led the Red Devils with 14 points, three rebounds and three assists, going 4-for-5 from the foul line. Melton tallied 10 points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal, going 4-for-6 from the line.
McNeal and Allen each finished with 11 points. McNeal was 3-for-3 from beyond the arc while Allen added four steals and three assists. Senior Moses Romocki (Creedmoor, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) and first-year Ryan Devine (New Egypt, N.J./New Egypt) each added seven points, and Stenger hit a pair of three-pointers on the afternoon.
The Red Devils slip to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference. They are on the road next Wednesday, traveling to Gettysburg College for an 8:00 pm tip-off.