Sunday, December 18, 2011


During my time in Goshen, I was able to attend several home games of the Goshen College Men's Basketball team. The first game that I saw was a truly amazing demonstration of team ball - I am not sure that I have seen a college team play any better. They played defense, they ran the ball, they unselfishly passed the ball, and they shot the lights out.

They have beaten several NAIA DII nationally ranked teams, and they are ranked themselves, number 12 and probably moving up. They closed the year with a couple of impressive wins in a holiday tournament, the results of which are summarized below.

LIVONIA, Mich. (FRIDAY) – A slow first half did not prevent the Goshen College men’s basketball team from getting its 12th-straight win and a trip to tomorrow’s championship game at the Madonna University Crusader Classic.

The Maple Leafs (12-1) shot just 34.5% in the opening 20 minutes and after trailing by three early in the second half, shot 51% to cruise to a 76-49 victory over Marygrove College Friday night.

In the third-consecutive contest in which the Maple Leafs have scored exactly 76 points, junior Matthew Martin (Doncaster, England) finished one short of his career high with 18 points. Martin hit 8-of-10 from the field, while senior Geoffry Gilot (North Port, Fla.) added 14 points and freshman Kody Chandler (Schoolcraft, Mich.) chipped in 10.

Marcus Hopkins scored 16 points to lead Marygrove who will play Roosevelt in tomorrow’s consolation. Goshen will face off against the hosts (ranked #21 in the NAIA DII poll), who defeated Roosevelt 81-62. The championship game is slated for 3 p.m. in Livonia (Mich.).

Leafs Comeback For 13th Straight, 64-51 Over #21 Madonna

LIVONIA, Mich. (SATURDAY) – The Goshen College men’s basketball team came from 10 down in the first half and again from seven in the second half to knock off NAIA DII #21 Madonna University Saturday night in Michigan.

The Maple Leafs – ranked #12 in the national poll – extended their winning streak to 13 games and will head into the Christmas Break at 13-1 with their last defeat coming in the season opener back on November 1. With the victory, they also earned the championship at Madonna’s Crusader Classic.

After opening the contest with a Geoffry Gilot (North Port, Fla.) 3-pointer, Goshen struggled. They missed their next seven field goal attempts and turned the ball over twice as Madonna went on a 13-0 run for an early double-digit lead. They slowly chipped away at the gap and briefly took the lead late in the period before the teams headed to the locker rooms tied at 27-27.

Just three minutes into the final half, Goshen again fell behind, this time by as many as seven. The game was back-and-forth for the next ten minutes and was tied 46-46 with seven minutes to play before the Leafs made their run. Over a little over a four-minute span, Goshen went on a 15-0 spurt, hitting five-straight 3-pointers including two each by juniors Matthew Martin (Doncaster, England) and Garner Small (Schoolcraft, Mich.).

Martin finished 7-of-10 from 3-point territory to score a career high 26 points. He also grabbed eight rebounds and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Gilot added 14 points and was also named to the all tournament team, while Small chipped in 13 points. Madonna’s Travis Schuba hit six 3-pointers and scored a team-high 21 points.

Goshen (13-1) is off for the Christmas holiday and will next be in action on December 29 at the University of Findlay (Ohio).

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