Muskingum’s efficient shooting too much for Blue Streaks in high scoring affair

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The John Carroll Men’s Basketball team huddles at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center.

Zachary Horvath, Staff Reporter

menMuskingum shot the lights out. Defense wound up not being the focus in the 79th matchup between the John Carroll Blue Streaks and the Fighting Muskies this past Friday night, Feb. 19, at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center. 

The Muskies’ crazy efficient shooting performance was just enough to squeak by the Blue Streaks in a 109-103 finish. For the entirety of the game, the visiting team did not shoot under 55% from the field or from deep in both halves. Sending Muskingum to the charity stripe was not a wise decision either, as Muskingum head coach Travis Schwab’s squad nailed 89.5% of their free throws

An eye-opening stat that greatly assisted in the Fighting Muskies’ efficiency was the huge discrepancy in bench and fast break points. Muskingum seemed to have more than five men on the floor as their bench provided a hefty amount of production 48 points. There were also too many chances for easy baskets as the Muskies outscored the Blue Streaks 30-13 on the break. 

The leading man for the Muskies was the junior guard M.J. Smith; he was simply unstoppable. The bucket was twice as huge for him. He hit 66.7% of his attempts from the field and had a Steph Curry-type performance from behind the arc, dropping in 7 of 10 threes

Other notables included Alex Massinelli, who went for 17 points and dished out nine assists. Trey Singleton had a solid game with 20 points, and Carson Carter poured in an extra 18 points for good measure. 

Head coach of the Blue Streaks Pete Moran said after the loss, “They shot the ball very well tonight.” 

Unfortunately for John Carroll, their late comeback was not enough to overcome the 16-point deficit in the end. With about four and half minutes remaining in the game, the Blue Streaks had to find a quick spark to get back into the ball game. 

Thankfully, they did, starting with William Wallace making a second-chance basket. JCU outscored Muskingum 14-4 on extra opportunities. The Streaks went on a 23-10 run in the final four minutes, but it was a classic case of too little too late. 

The star senior sniper and leading scorer for JCU, Jackson Sartain, matched Smith’s game-high of 27 points while also tallying six assists and four steals. Eric Hanna added 19 points, Mason Trubisky had 11 points, and Emmett Chambers tacked on 10 points.

John Carroll got their sweet revenge by blowing out Muskingum on the road 100-79 in Saturday’s meeting in New Concord

The next game for the 2-3 Blue Streaks is against Otterbein University. That showdown will take place in Westerville and tip-off at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26. Muskingum takes on the Mount Union Raiders at home on the same date and time.