John Carroll drops conference opener on the road

By: Ryan Tyransky, Staff Reporter

Conference play did not start well for John Carroll University men’s basketball.

The Blue Streaks traveled to New Concord, Ohio and fell, 99–95, to Muskingum University. The loss puts the Blue Streaks to 1–4, (0–1 Ohio Athletic Conference) on the season.

John Carroll was led by senior forward Simon Kucharewicz, who recorded 24 points and 11 rebounds. Kucharewicz’ performance lands him his second double-double of the season.

Freshman Ryan Berger had a career day after he recorded a career-high 21 points for the Blue and Gold.

John Carroll started off the game with an 11–2 run. Both Berger and Kucharewicz scored all 11 points for the Blue Streaks in the opening moments of the first conference clash.

After the second platoon entered the contest, Muskingum found a rhythm. The hosting Muskies rattled off an 11–0 run of their own to make add some early drama to the conference clash.

The remainder of the first half was both John Carroll and Muskingum trading baskets. With two minutes remaining in the opening half, the Fighting Muskies went on an 11–2 run to earn a lead for the halftime period.

At the conclusion of the first half, the hosting Muskies led, 52–41.

JCU shot 47.4 percent from the field, but struggled from the free throw line (25 percent) and behind the arc (30 percent).

The start of the second half had some familiar themes from the first half.

John Carroll started the half with a 12–0 run. Kucharewicz was a force in the paint as he scored eight of the 12 points inside the Muskingum defense. Junior John Cirillo buried a three-pointer to end the run giving the Blue Streaks a 53–52 lead and erasing the halftime deficit.

Muskingum answered and brought the lead up to seven. John Carroll responded with a 9–0 of their own to take a 75–72 lead.

Back and fourth play would mean the final moments of the contest would decide the outcome.

With eight seconds remaining, John Carroll trailed by three. A designed play got Berger open, but his attempted three point try was off the mark.

The final buzzer sounded, giving the Fighting Muskies a 99–95 win.

With the win Muskingum moved to 5–0, (1–0) on the season.

Senior point guard, David Linane Jr., scored 15 points and had seven assists, with two steals. Doug Caputo also scored 10 points and had eight rebounds.