Hawks slip by Lyons for fourth straight win

The Hawks huddle around head coach Michael Tully during a timeout.

Andrew Wuebker, Sports Editor

Hawks guard Austin Coene took the brunt of a few blows to the face on this night as well as his team.

In an effort to stain the Hawks’ perfect record, Wheaton College gave Roger Williams their toughest battle of their young season thus far. Undeterred, RWU’s leading scorer and the rest of the Hawks made the Wheaton Lyons pay.

“I definitely play better once I get riled up and everything,” Coene said. “I think I just play harder.”

In a matchup of undefeated teams, RWU’s men’s basketball team grabbed their fourth win in a row to start the season on Tuesday, Nov. 21, edging the Lyons 72-70.

Coene led all scorers with 33 points, going 11-of-13 from the field. Senior forward Jaylen Jennings also chipped in tallying 13 points.

Throughout much of the first-half, the game was closely contested. Wheaton’s presence on the offensive glass, switching between defenses and overall aggressiveness had the Hawks on their heels, trailing 36-31 after the first 20 minutes.

“I just told them that they were more aggressive than us,” said RWU Head Coach Michael Tully on what he told his team after trailing at halftime.

“I thought we were playing hard, but I thought they were playing hard and they were more aggressive. We’re blocking guys out and we’re staring at the ball instead of blocking guys out and go to get the ball.”

Coming out of the break, the Hawks began to match the Lyons’ aggressive play. The Hawks began to get easier looks at the basket and pursued the ball on the glass.

A fired up Coene also helps.

Coene took a hard hit to the face midway through the second-half and was called for a technical foul for taunting. Both plays seemed to fire up the third-year guard as he scored 20 of his 33 points in the final 20 minutes.

With five minutes to go, the Hawks obtained a 66-60 lead, but the Lyons battled back to keep it close. The Lyons got the lead down to one trailing 71-70 with 4.1 seconds left and had possession. Wheaton inbounded and Duaka Ewenski lost the ball on the way up with Jennings coming out of the fray as he was fouled on the play.

Jennings knocked down the first free throw to make the Hawk lead 72-70, he would miss the second and the clock ticked out, making the Hawks 4-0.

The Hawks return home on Tuesday, Dec. 5 to take on Commonwealth Coast Conference powerhouse Nichols College.