Men’s basketball falls to seventh-place Whittier

The men’s basketball team fell to the seventh-place Whittier College 78-73 Thursday night, giving the Poets their second win over the Panthers this season.

“We started both halves poorly and dug ourselves a hole, and we couldn’t get out,” said junior guard Tyler Green.

For most of the first half, the Panthers (10-13, 5-9) were trailing by as much as 14 points. However, the Panthers pulled it together toward the end of the half and were able to head to the locker room leading 43-39.

“We went down early in the game and (were) able to make a run at the end of the first half to get the lead,” said junior guard Rob Nelsen. “We weren’t able to maintain that lead because of poor ball control and a stretch where we were giving them easy shots. We came up close in the end, but weren’t able to get the W.”

The Panthers got 30 points from their bench, but it still wasn’t enough to make up the deficit, as the Poets out-rebounded the Panthers 41-33. Green started on the bench and ended the game leading the team with 15 points.

“It always feels good to be the leading scorer, but it was in a loss,” Green said. “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my teammates and coaches for making plays to get me the ball in spots where I’d be successful.”

There are two games left in the season, and without any chance of postseason play, the Panthers will be trying to make the most of their final games.

“This season hasn’t played out like we were hoping for, but there’s never an excuse to not play your hardest every time you step on the court,” Nelsen said. “We have a couple seniors that only have two more games left of their college career. These next two games are for them, and we want to end with at least a .500 record.”

The Panthers travel to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who beat the Panthers earlier this season, on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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