Sophomore John DiBartolomeo led the men’s basketball team to yet another victory on Sunday, against Washington University in St. Louis, to bring the Yellowjackets’ overall record to 10-4 (2-1 in the University Athletic Association).
DiBartolomeo scored a team-high 19 points, and while the Bears repeatedly rallied to keep the game close, they couldn’t match the proven accuracy of seniors Mike Labanowski (17 points) and David Gould (12 points).
Able support from junior Chris Dende and freshman Nate Vernon gave UR control early on in the game, and the team managed to stay ahead of the Bears throughout most of the first half.
Although UR was leading 41-26 at the half, the Bears bounced back early in the second half, closing the gap to 51-49 with 11 minutes remaining. Clutch back-to-back three pointers by Labanowski and Vernon stretched UR’s lead to eight, but the Bears clawed back throughout the fourth quarter and just narrowly missed catching the Yellowjackets, eventually falling 86-80.
Instrumental in maintaining the win for UR was DiBartolomeo’s deadly accuracy from the free throw line. DiBartalomeo, who averages 73% from the line so far this season, nailed four of four with just minutes left in regulation.
UR’s upcoming schedule entails two home games: Carnegie Mellon this Friday, and Case Western Reserve University two days later. Like UR, Carnegie Mellon is 2-1 in the UAA, so this promises to be a hotly competitive match. Although Carnegie-Mellon has the momentum, riding two straight UAA wins leading up to Friday, UR’s confidence has been bolstered by the win against a fierce Washington squad. Rochester is 6-2 at home this season, while Carnegie-Mellon is 0-4 record at away games.
Case Western (3-0 in the UAA), meanwhile, which defeated Carnegie-Mellon 64-62 on Jan. 8th, is shaping up to be a contender for the league title and one of the most daunting teams UR will face this season. Both games are important chances for the Yellowjackets to step up and show their capability of league domination this year.
Horning is a member of the class of 2014.