Men’s hoops facing highs and lows

Monday night’s game against Yale marked the tenth-straight road game for Catamounts and, as one might suspect, the team is a bit travel weary.

But along with the extensive travel, comes the opportunity to spread the name of the program as it plays schools from larger programs.

During the Thanksgiving break, the team traveled to Philadelphia to participate in the Legends Classic tournament, hosted by Drexel University.

The Catamounts began the tournament with a win over Rutgers, who plays in arguably the top college basketball conference in the country: the Big East.

“Anytime we can beat a Big East school it’s good for us,” junior guard Joey Accaoui said.
The long road of travel eventually wore down the paws of the Cats, as they went on to losetheir next two tournament games to Drexel and Cornell.

“We were on the road for a while so we were a little bit worn out,” Accaoui said. “But that’s not an excuse for why we lost. We played a very good Drexel team, we didn’t shoot the ball well, we missed a lot of free throws.”

“I thought that game was lost in the first half and it was very disappointing.” Head coach Mike Longergan said. “Drexel is a tough team and they were a lot tougher than us.”

But the Catamounts would end their losing streak with a dominant win against the Mid-American Conference’s Toledo, by the score of 82-49. Senior guard Maurice Joseph led the team with 21 points while Accaoui chipped in 10.

“The next night, I think we were so frustrated that we lost so many games, we just took out our anger on Toledo,” Accaoui said. “We came out really fired up.”

Though traveling tired the team out, there were bright spots on the trip in addition to the two wins. The bench play has stepped up its productivity, with Accaoui as a weapon from outside and junior Garrett Kissel being a force on the boards.

Kissell set a career high in rebounds with 10, including five offensive in the win over Toledo, while Accauoi set a career high 17 points in a recent victory against Dartmouth.

Accaoui has stepped into a larger role offensively to fill the vacancy left by last years captain Mike Trimboli.

“This year I have more of a role offensively because the losses of Mike and Colin McIntosh, so I’ve head to step up,” Accaoui said. “And you have to remember Marqus [Blakely] is getting triple teamed every game, so it opens up opportunities for guys like me on the perimeter.”

The contributions from players like Accaoui and Kissel from the bench will help the team as it makes it final push through the non-conference schedule when the Cats return home to Patrick Gym after the long series of road games.

“We have a nice stretch coming up,” Accaoui said. “I think we can get a lot of wins, and gain some momentum going in to the conference.”