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Men's Basketball Weekly Preview: NESCAC Semifinals

Men's Basketball Weekly Preview: NESCAC Semifinals

This Week: The Trinity College men's basketball team earned a 71-60 victory over Colby last Saturday in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) quarterfinals, hosted by the Bantams. Trinity is the No. 1 seed in the tournament and will play host this weekend for the semifinals on Saturday, and the Championship on Sunday. The Bantams will face Middlebury on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the first of two semifinals games, with the winners squaring off on Sunday for the Championship. 

Match-ups:
NESCAC Semifinals

No. 1 Trinity (19-6, 9-1) v. No. 4 Middlebury (15-10, 6-4 in NESCAC)
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
Oosting Gymnasium
Hartford, Connecticut

Live Stats

Live Video

Series History against Middlebury: Trinity is 39-15 against the Panthers dating back to the 1919-20 season.

Last Time Out Against the Panthers: The Bantams won 97-86 two weeks ago against Middlebury in Hartford.

Game Notes:

Trinity clinched the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC Championship Tournament for the fourth time in program history and the second consecutive season. The Bantams took the regular season crown by one game over Amherst, the only NESCAC team that defeated the Bantams this season.

- The Bantams are ranked 22 in the D3Hoops.com poll, up three spots from last week. 

Senior forward Shay Ajayi scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half and added seven rebounds, four steals, and two blocks to lead Trinity over Colby last weekend. The Bantams scored just 19 points in the first half but reversed its shooting woes in the second half, connecting on 60.7 percent of its field-goal attempts. Seniors Rick Naylor and Jaquann Starks both joined Ajayi as second-half, double-digit scorers, as Starks finished with 13 points and six assists and Naylor scored all 10 of his points after intermission.  Junior center Ed Ogundeko contributed 10 points and a game-high 11 boards, while Bantam senior Andrew Hurd dished five assists.

- Ogundeko leads the conference and ranks 23rd nationally averaging 10.7 boards per contest, while Ajayi is fifth in the NESCAC with 7.5 boards per contest. Ogundeko is also fourth in the NESCAC in blocked shots with 1.5 per game.

- The Bantams are averaging 78.2 points per contest, up from 69.6 points per game last season. Ajayi leads the squad with 14.1 ppg (12th in NESCAC) followed by Ogundeko (13.2 ppg, 14th in NESCAC) and Starks (12.0 ppg) who is 22nd in the conference.

- Hurd is tied for second amongst NESCAC leaders with 5.0 assists per game and is also is sixth nationally in assists-to-turnover ratio at 3.43. Sophomore swingman Eric Gendron ranks fifth in three-point shooting at .441. Ogundeko is fourth in the league with 1.4 blocks per game while Ajayi is ninth with one per contest.

- Trinity is second in the NESCAC in scoring defense at 67.2 ppg, first in field-goal percentage defense at .382 (2nd in nation), and first in rebounding margin at +6.9 (24th in nation).