BY JEFF FALK
ANNVILLE – For the past four years there’s been a lot of talk around Annville about the possibility of the Lebanon Valley College men’s basketball team turning things around and returning to prominence. Time again to revisit that conversation.
On Wednesday night inside Sorrentino Gymnasium, the Flying Dutchmen notched their third straight victory, in impressive fashion, 76-65 over Marymount. Lebanon Valley never trailed, shot 56 percent from the floor and received scoring from 12 different sources.
With the result, the Flying Dutchmen improved to 6-3 overall. Marymount is now 2-6 on the campaign.
“I think this team could be good,” said Lebanon Valley head coach Brad McAlester. “It’s just a matter of them (his players) working at it. And they have.
“We’ll take it. We’ll take any winning streak,” McAlester added. “We’re 6-3, and the three games we lost were by a total of nine points. There’s some games we shouldn’t have lost. We could be very good if we keep working at it and getting better.”
LVC created good offensive opportunities for itself, both inside and out – and did a good job of taking advantage of them, especially in the first half. And the Flying Dutchmen played enough good-help defense to limit Marymount to 36 percent shooting, and 22 percent shooting from distance.
Lebanon Valley took control of the outcome in the middle of the first half, using a 10-3 spurt to turn a 17-14 edge into a 27-17 margin. Sophomore and Northern Lebanon product Sam Light had five LVC points in the run, while Kyler Burke contributed a bucket, Steven Shaffer hit a jumper and Cedar Crest graduate Andrew Eberhart threw in a free throw.
“We won,” said McAlester. “We won by 11. We were up 16. We’re scoring. We’ve just got to keep getting better.
“We shot 56 percent,” McAlester continued. “We play a lot of guys. The good thing is, if guys don’t play as good, we have other guys to go to. So that’s really encouraging.”
Thanks to a Caleb Barwin lay-up, Lebanon Valley enjoyed a 47-31 halftime margin. The Flying Dutchmen had opened a 42-27 advantage with 1:22 left in the half, on a three-pointer by Light, and had enjoyed a 45-29 margin on a three-point field goal from Barwin, 29 seconds later.
“On defense, yes, I’m happy,” said McAlester. “But the offensive rebounds killed us. We’ve just got to keep working on that. And we didn’t do a good job of rotating defensively.
“Yeah, I think we played better in the first half,” continued McAlester. “We scored better in the first half. We’re scoring.”
But the game belonged to Flying Dutchmen sophomore forward Andy Orr. Every time Lebanon Valley needed a bucket or wanted to regain momentum, it looked to Orr.
In 32 minutes, the 6-7 Orr tallied 23 points, on eight-of-13 shooting from the floor and seven-of-nine free throwing. Travis Conrad struck for 11 Flying Dutchmen points and Light registered ten.
Lebanon Valley was out rebounded 41-24.
“I’m settled with starters,” said McAlester. “But after that, it can be anybody. We have a lot of guys who can play.
“Andy makes guys foul him,” added McAlester. “And then he makes his foul shots. Will (Boccanfuso) works so hard. He just does so much out there. Since he’s been starting, he’s been giving us a spark.”
Fifteen seconds into the second half, Orr scored in the paint to extend Lebanon Valley’s lead to 18 points. But Marymount responded with nine straight points over the next 3:22 to pull to within 49-40.
“I told the guys at halftime, ‘Just keep it up,'” said McAlester. ” ‘They’re (Marymount) going to make a run, and they did. We keep talking about three ‘stops’ in-a-row.”
But the Flying Dutchmen would hold Marymount without a point over the next six minutes to all but seal the outcome. Two free throws from Orr made it 58-40, with 10:19 remaining.
Lebanon Valley’s biggest lead came at 65-42, with 8:35 to go, courtesy of a Ricky Bugg bucket.
“We’re sharing the ball,” said McAlester, “and we have a lot of guys who can score the ball. A lot of guys picked it up.”
Last season Lebanon Valley College went 12-13 overall.
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2015 Lebanon Valley Men’s Basketball Schedule
|Penn St. Harrisburg Tip-Off Tournament|
|11/14/2015||Roanoke College||Middletown, Pa.||W 101-98
|11/15/2015||Penn State Harrisburg||Middletown, Pa.||L 60-61
|Rinso Marquette Tournament|
|11/20/2015||Wilkes University vs. Rowan University||Annville, Pa.||6 p.m.|
|11/20/2015||Penn State Abington||Annville, Pa.||W 84-72
|11/21/2015||Wilkes Unversity vs. Penn State Abington||Annville, Pa.||1 p.m.|
|11/21/2015||Rowan University||Annville, Pa.||W 92-85
|11/24/2015||Misericordia University||Dallas, Pa.||L 65-68
|11/29/2015||Moravian College||Annville, Pa.||L 81-86
|12/2/2015||*||Arcadia University||Glenside, Pa.||W 83-74
|12/5/2015||*||Albright College||Annville, Pa.||W 89-72
|12/9/2015||Marymount University||Annville, Pa.||W 76-65
|12/12/2015||*||Hood College||Frederick, Md.||3 p.m.|
|12/21/2015||*||Alvernia University||Reading, Pa.||7 p.m.|
|12/30/2015||Marywood University||Scranton, Pa.||7 p.m.|
|1/6/2016||*||Stevenson University||Annville, Pa.||8 p.m.|
|1/9/2016||Wilkes University||Wilkes-Barre, Pa.||3 p.m.|
|1/13/2016||*||Widener University||Annville, Pa.||8 p.m.|
|1/16/2016||*||Lycoming College||Williamsport, Pa.||3 p.m.|
|1/20/2016||*||Messiah College||Annville, Pa.||8 p.m.|
|1/23/2016||*||Albright College||Reading, Pa.||2 p.m.|
|1/27/2016||*||Hood College||Annville, Pa.||8 p.m.|
|2/3/2016||*||Widener University||Chester, Pa.||8 p.m.|
|2/6/2016||Alumni Game||Annville, Pa.||11 a.m.|
|Hot Dog Frank Day|
|2/6/2016||*||Alvernia University||Annville, Pa.||2 p.m.|
|2/10/2016||*||Stevenson University||Stevenson, Md.||8 p.m.|
|2/13/2016||*||Arcadia University||Annville, Pa.||4 p.m.|
|2/16/2016||*||Messiah College||Grantham, Pa.||8 p.m.|
|2/20/2016||*||Lycoming College||Annville, Pa.||3 p.m.|
2015-16 MAC Commonwealth Preseason Coaches’ Poll