Following up their heartbreaking 95-100 overtime loss earlier in the season, the Kalamazoo Men’s Basketball Team fell to Rivals Hope again on Saturday by a score of 73-80.
The game being the final game of the season, it was senior day. The festivities were started off with the seniors being recognized, walking out to half court with their parents. The starting line-up was all seniors, with forward Tyler Stewart K’11 having one of his best games of the season.
The Hornets were led by forward and leading scorer Joe Prepolec K’12, who had a strong double-double, including 21 points and 10 rebounds, 8 of which were on the offensive end. He put in a good effort on the defensive end as well, with four steals and a block. Stewart scored 17, and forward Ryan Clark K’11 chipped in with 12 points, including 3 shots from behind the arc.
It was the three-pointer that kept the Hornets in the game, since they were topped by Hope in both field goal (39.3 to 45.0 percent) and free-throw (77.4 to 77.4 percent) percentages.
The Hornet’s chance to capitalize came in the 2nd half, where Hope’s shooting from the field and the line noticeably dipped. The Hornet’s had the lead twice in the 2nd half however, the Hornet’s shooting stayed consistently low at a paltry 39 percent, and Hope edged them out in a close encounter between rivals.
The loss leaves the Hornets with a record of 9-16 (6-8 MIAA), which makes them the number six seed in the first round of the MIAA Tournament, where they will face number three Alma away on Wednesday Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m.