The Wabash basketball team won their first conference game of the season against Oberlin on Saturday, November 3, rallying in the second half to undo a 15-point deficit and thwart the Yeomen. While a win against Oberlin is rarely considered worth celebrating for Wabash, this win was essential to bounce back from the devastating loss to the then 0-4 Earlham College on November 30.
Despite their perennially mediocre reputation, the Yeomen posed a serious threat to the Little Giants. The main problem for Wabash was the height of the Oberlin players. Averaging just over 6’3, the Yeomen team is much taller than its Little Giants counterpart. Oberlin was also the only team to defeat Wabash last season, in spite of their poor 6-18 record.
Oberlin led the competition by nine points entering halftime and pushed their lead to 15 shortly into the second half. But late on in the game, the Little Giants went on a scoring spree and tied the scores with just over six minutes remaining.
Wabash took the lead and fought to the last second. The Yeomen had a chance to win the game with a last second three but were unable to hit the buzzer-beater. Wabash walked away from yet another close call, winning 80-78.
The Little Giants shot an astonishing 73% from the field in the second half. Ahmoni Jones ’24 led the team in scoring once again with 16 points. More notably, 21 of the team’s points came from the bench, a significant improvement from earlier games in the year.
Defensively, Wabash couldn’t stop 6’5 junior Dimitrije Radusinovic who put up 29 points, but they managed to hold the Yeomen bench to just four points. Unsurprisingly, the Little Giants were out rebounded in this game, however it is promising that the deficit was only four.
With this win the Little Giants moved to 6-2 (1-0 NCAC) on the season. Thus far, the team has beaten some of the best teams in the country while also struggling to put away some of the worst. But with this win, they have avoided what would have been the nail in the coffin on their NCAC hopes. The college basketball season is a long one, and the Little Giants will have to prove whether or not they have what it takes to carry their opening energy through to the end.
Final score: Wabash 80, Oberlin 78