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Tip-Off to Successful Seasons for MBB, WBB

by Timothy Hoffstaetter

Before winter break, both of Roanoke’s basketball teams had started their season off with strong performances. Both the men’s and women’s teams started off in their preseason games including both ODAC and non-ODAC teams. Now we have entered into the regular season with ODAC games becoming more important in the push for playoff seeding. So far both the men’s and women’s teams have positive records in their ODAC games. Most of these games have been played in the month of January, with the men having four wins and two losses and the women having three wins and four losses.

The women’s record may have some people concerned, but it is important to contextualize their four losses being against very tough opponents and being in the transition to the Bast Gymnasium. Their first loss came against reigning ODAC Championship runner-up Randolph-Macon, where the Maroons lost only by seven points in a very competitive game. The second loss came against last year’s number one seed in the ODAC tournament, Washington & Lee. Their most recent loss came in their matchup with Guilford and their star forward Anna Giannopoulou, who was recently named ODAC Player of the Week. Fortunately for the Maroons, they were able to shake their losing streak by beating last year’s ODAC Champions, the Shenandoah Hornets. The women’s team is still among the top teams in ODAC and the rest of the season will surely be exciting for Maroons fans. 

The men’s record this month has been outstanding and they have only lost to nationally-ranked teams this month. They first beat Eastern Mennonite, then Virginia Wesleyan, Averett and Shenandoah. Their first loss this month came at the hands of Guilford, ranked #17 in the nation. They then lost to Randolph-Macon, who is the second best Division III basketball team,  but nonetheless it was a competitive game. Roanoke’s men were up until about eleven minutes left, before Randolph-Macon took a two point lead and held their ground to claim the win. Despite the loss, the Maroons played one of the best teams in the nation and remained competitive throughout the matchup. The men’s team is now looking ahead to an ODAC tournament with immense confidence with how well they have been playing.