PLATTEVILLE, Wisc. – The perfect start to the season was snapped for the Goshen College men's basketball team, but the Maple Leafs still wrapped up a 1-1 weekend at the University of Wisconsin - Platteville's Gabe Miller Tip-Off Classic.
The hosts ended the Maple Leafs undefeated run to start the season at five games with an 82-53 victory late Friday night. The Pioneers shot a sparkling 53% in the contest, including 9-of-20 (45%) from long range. They also out rebounded Goshen 38-23 and forced 17 Maple Leaf turnovers.
Without starting point guard Stefon Luckey, Goshen tallied just eight assists as a team. Senior Matthew Martin led the team with 11 points and six rebounds, hitting three 3-pointers. UW Platteville was led by Jim Stockl with 18 points and Jake Manning with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
"We got it handed to us on Friday night by a very good, strong, experienced Platteville team," head coach Gary Chupp said. "Not having Luckey hurt our depth, but that game was about getting beat physically. Lost opportunities on loose balls and offensive rebounds cost us 21 points in the first half and we were down 13 at half."
Chupp continued, "The most disappointing stretch of the game was the first five minutes of the second half. We finally got our offense going, scoring on seven of our first eight possessions. However, we simply traded baskets due to lack of defensive effort. After that stretch, it snowballed and got out of hand."
A day later, the outcome was much better for Goshen, who overcame a big early hole for a 79-73 victory over the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.
The BlueGolds' Jordan Petersen hit a 3-pointer 32 seconds into the contest, but the second basket of the game did not come until nearly four minutes in. Goshen missed its first six field goal attempts, with its first points coming on a Jan Zawadzki layup at the 15:43 mark.
Goshen's early offensive struggles continued as they fell behind by as many as 12 (19-7) midway through the opening half. A 2:52 stretch shortly after, however, got them back in the game. Junior Jerron Jamerson scored nine of his 17 points during an 11-0 Maple Leaf run to tie the score at 21-21 with 6:27 left in the period.
"We got off to a terrible start against Eau Claire, but give our guys credit for turning it around towards the end of the first half," Chupp explained. "We finally started stringing some defensive stops together which allowed us to get some easy baskets in transition."
Goshen ultimately took a 37-31 lead into the halftime break before extending their cushion to double digits (44-33) early in the second half on a Luckey 3-pointer and Martin layup. The Maple Leaf lead remained between six and 13 until the final minutes.
The BlueGolds had one last run in them, with a quick 9-2 spurt cutting the gap to 69-66 with just 3:35 to play. Another Martin layup gave a little separation and then a 3-pointer by senior classmate Tavo Parrall with 1:26 to go put the game away for Goshen.
Parrall came up big all afternoon, scoring a career high 22 points in just 21 minutes of playing time. He hit 7-of-11 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line and was named to the event's all tournament team.
""Tavo came up big for us hitting several clutch shots off the bench," Chupp said of his senior guard who is averaging 11.4 points a game off the bench. Senior Kyle Davis scored 12, Jamerson 17 and Martin had 10 points and nine rebounds. Jordan Peterson led Wisconson - Eau Claire with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
Goshen (6-1) begin Crossroads League play on Tuesday when they travel to Taylor University (3-3). The Trojans received votes in the NAIA DII Preseason National Poll.