Men’s basketball team off to hot start in 2019

Guilford started off the season playing Emory University, who was ranked number six in the nation. The Quakers fell in an 89-67 loss.

Since then the team has not looked back, and they won the next seven games. The first win came against Greensboro College.

In the first neutral-site meeting of Greensboro College and Guilford since 2017, the Quakers jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead. After a quick couple of baskets, the score was pulled even at eight.

Two early hustle plays by first-year Tyler Dearman helped set the tempo for the Quakers. His rebounds led to a pair of buckets..

The Greensboro College Pride ran into foul trouble early. They reached the bonus limit (of seven fouls) within the first ten minutes of the first half.

Late in the first half, the Pride’s three-point shooting pulled them close to even with the Quakers. The definitive difference in the first half was the play of Dearman off of the bench, pouring in 20 points in just his second collegiate game.

The Quakers pulled away in the second half, at one point going on a 13-0 run. Dearman finished with 24 points and eight rebounds, and Jorden Davis contributed 18 points.

“My shot was working, (I) was feeling confident and my teammates kept telling me to keep my confidence up,” Dearman remarked after his 24 point game. “My teammates kept getting me the ball and I was appreciative.”

In the next game, the Quakers topped Mary Hardin-Baylor in a 60-52 win. Guilford led the game early on, but the margin was small by halftime.

Mary Hardin-Baylor went on a run after the break and went up by as many as six points. The Quakers answered quickly and never looked back.

Dearman chipped in 13 points. Joah Logan had nine points and contributed 10 rebounds for Guilford.

Kyler Gregory led all scorers with 19 points. The senior recorded a double-double by having 12 rebounds, and he also added three steals.

“Coaches always tell us to ‘play with confidence and give 100 percent on defense and offense,’ and it’s been working for us,” Dearman remarked.

In their third game in five days, the Quakers upended N.C. Wesleyan, 67-50. In a back and forth first half, the lead changed six times.

Guilford pulled away in the second half to secure their third straight victory. Sophomore Liam Ward scored a game and career-high 19 points.

The team continued rolling with a fifteen point win over Averett University. Davis led all scorers with 23 points.

“I think we are starting to bond a lot more and our chemistry is growing every day,” Davis said. “We also have a whole bunch of unselfish guys on this team, which allows us to have different guys go off in a game. It makes it hard for teams to guard us because they can’t just focus on one player.”

Gregory contributed a double-double, pulling down 13 rebounds and dropping in 15 points. Ward was the final Quaker in double digits, contributing 17 points.

In another double-digit win, the Quakers beat Berry College, 73-56. Ward and Logan led the team, scoring 16 and 14 points respectively.

The tightest game this year came Nov. 26 against Methodist University. Guilford prevailed 62-60, with Davis chipping in the last two points at the free-throw line.

“I think when things have gotten tough in games, like when the other team goes on a run, we’ve done a great job of pulling closer together and remaining calm,” Ward remarked. “Usually when a team has a run, we respond with one of our own, and that’s important (to do) if we want to be a great team.”

Gregory and Ward again led Guilford scorers. Ward put in 15 points and Gregory recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

In the team’s first conference matchup of the year, there was a 19 point margin of victory for the Quakers over Eastern Mennonite University. During the Nov. 30 win, the team had four players in double digits, and Gregory led all scorers with 19 points.

In a Wednesday night contest against Roanoke the Quakers improved to 8-1. Kyler Gregory lead all scorers with 28 points.

Through nine games, Gregory led the team in scoring with 16.6 points per game and in rebounds with nine per game. The senior has recorded four double-doubles so far this year.

Also contributing meaningful points, Ward is averaging 12 points per game and 1.2 assists per game. Making an impact off the bench in his first eight college games, Dearman is averaging 9.5 points per game and contributing 4.6 rebounds as well.

In the preseason poll, Guilford was ranked number 19 in the nation. After one week of play, they held at that spot, but more recently Guilford has climbed to number 16 in the nation.

The Quakers host Virginia Wesleyan on Dec. 7 before they leave for the semester break. When they return, the team will travel to Atlanta to play LaGrange and have a rematch against Emory.