After losing their previous two games, the Titan men’s team is hoping to stay in the running for a NWAC tournament berth. On Wednesday, Lane dug itself further into the hole, losing to the Linn-Benton Roadrunners 90-68. With their third straight loss, the team fell to last place in the Southern Region and is now eliminated from playoff contention.
The score stood at five apiece early in the first half after a Linn-Benton guard went coast-to-coast for a layup over Lane 7-footer Kylor Kelley. Kelley ended the 5-0 Linn-Benton run when he crossed his defender over and made an easy finger roll layup.
Mike Swadberg was the first Titan off the bench for Lane head coach Bruce Chavka. Tayler Marteliz wasn’t far behind as he entered the game halfway through the first half. Less than 30 seconds after coming into the game, Marteliz sunk Lane’s first 3-pointer of the evening. Keaton McKay followed suit and hit another three to cut the once nine-point deficit to just two.
Two possessions later, McKay shot-faked as his defender flew by and stepped into his second 3-pointer. The Titans were reminded how quickly a game can get out of hand as the Roadrunners pushed the lead back to eight on a fast break dunk that got the opposing bench up on its feet.
The Titans were held scoreless for just under five minutes of action until Swadberg converted on one of his two free throws. Next time down the floor Swadberg pulled up from behind the 3-point arc and rattled in his first attempt. At halftime, the Roadrunners held a slim 39-32 lead.
Kelley opened the second half with a monstrous dunk over his shorter defender. But the Roadrunners jumped out to a 13-4 run in the first five minutes of the half.
Kelley was the offensive outlet for the Titans as he scored eight of their first 10 points. He finished with a total of 19 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
Lane starting point guard Tre’Var Holland was unavailable for Wednesday’s matchup due to an injury.
“Our game plan changes a lot with him [Holland] out because he’s one of our few guys who can create,” Chavka said. “As far as him penetrating and kicking it out, we don’t have many other guys who can do it like him.”
Holland’s 154 total assists are third in the NWAC, but Holland leads the conference in assists-per-game at 6.7 in 23 games played.
The Titans fell behind by 20 with just over 10 minutes left in regulation. But they continued to fight as sophomore Patrick Goodard was left alone in the corner and swished a 3-pointer with six minutes remaining in regulation. Their battle was short lived as the Titans would fall to the Roadrunners by a score of 90-68.
Keiron Goodwin scored 16 on 7-of-22 shooting, while McKay and Marteliz both added 10 points. Marteliz dished out eight assists and grabbed four rebounds to go along with three steals.
With only two games remaining, Lane will play their final home game Feb. 28 at 7:30 against Umpqua CC, where the team will honor their current sophomores.