Coming into the game with a 13-2 overall record and 7-2 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, Emerson relied on impressive play from its upperclassmen to overpower the Eagles, who entered the contest with a 3-11 record.,After a heartbreaking 76-75 loss to Emmanuel last Saturday, the Emerson men's basketball team rebounded during Tuesday night's contest, thrashing the Daniel Webster Eagles, 91-61.
Coming into the game with a 13-2 overall record and 7-2 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, Emerson relied on impressive play from its upperclassmen to overpower the Eagles, who entered the contest with a 3-11 record.
"We have a really good record so far, and it could be even better, but we're very proud," said head coach Hank Smith. "Overall, we are where we want to be."
Emerson took an early lead and never looked back, pulling away from the Eagles with their strong offense. The first half ended with a long three-pointer at the buzzer by senior forward and captain Ben Chase, bringing the score to 50-32. Freshman guard Jon Showers then opened the second half with a three-point shot of his own, giving Emerson a 21-point lead. Showers soon followed with another three pointer with 18:32 left to play, and the Lions leading 62-36.
With just under five minutes remaining on the clock, Emerson held a 31-point lead, their biggest advantage of the contest. The team laughed and joked from the sidelines while Daniel Webster's bench was silent, unable to defend against the Lions' offensive powerhouse, which seemed to work telepathically as the ball was rotated with no-look and behind-the-back passes.
The Lions played against a 17-man Eagles roster, but the home team had only eight players available entering the game. Sophomore center Bryan Rouse, sidelined with an ankle injury since late December, watched from the bench, along with sophomore forward Tim McGhee and freshman guard Tom Messinger.
"We're hoping for a Thursday return for me, but we're taking it day-by-day," said Rouse, a marketing communication major. "It depends on what the trainers have to say and how I am feeling."
Although he had been sporting a walking cast, Rouse came dressed to Tuesday's game and wore an ace bandage around his ankle. As for his team's success, Rouse said he couldn't be more pleased with the Lions' efforts.
"Everybody is stepping up and filling in for the injured players," he said. "The fact that we're 13-2 speaks for itself."
Smith wouldn't set a definitive date for Rouse's return, although he said he has been recovering on schedule.
"He [Rouse] will be back pretty soon, and he's doing pretty well right now," Smith said as Rouse stood beneath the basket, fielding rebounds for his teammates at halftime. "Our main goal once he comes back is to win the league this year."