Zielinski-led Shoremen defeat Gophers to close out 2021


CHESTERTOWN — Washington shot a season-best 54% from the floor and held the edge in most of the other statistical categories, including rebounds and fewer turnovers, in a convincing 80-64 triumph over Goucher here on Dec. 11.

The Shoremen headed into winter break with two wins in their last three tries, and improved to 3-7 overall.

Sophomore guard Jason Zielinski scored 17 points in 18 minutes off the bench to lead three Washington players in double figures. He also had five rebounds, tying Kedrick Frink for the team lead, three steals and two assists — while committing only one foul.

Washington outshot its guest in bench points, 39-7.

Coach Aaron Goodman said the win was a great way to cap off the first semester.

"It was a tough battle with a tough team. We showed tremendous maturity and focus in this game after a challenging three-game week," he said in a news release.

Goucher's Cam Issacs led all players with 20 points.

The visiting Gophers (3-6) led by as many as seven points in the first half. They were up for the last time at 37-32 with 2 minutes, 20 seconds remaining on a Josh Lichti four-point play.

Washington closed out the half on a 13-0 run, pulling ahead, 45-37, at the break.

Freshman guard Ismael Baqai's 3-pointer with 1:07 to play before intermission restored the Shoremen's lead for good, 39-37, and Frink (seven points) capped the run with a layup with all but 7 seconds elapsed.

Zielinski and Goucher's Isaacs each scored nine points in the opening half.

Octavius Johnson (14 points, game-high 10 rebounds) hit a jumper on the Gophers' first shot of the second half, closing to 45-39, but they would not get any closer.

Washington scored 13 of the next 15 points, part of a larger 26-4 run that bridged both halves, to extend the spread to 58-41 with just under 10 minutes remaining.

The Shoremen led by double figures the rest of the way.

They took their largest lead of the game, 80-61, when Frink made the back end of a two-shot foul with 39 seconds remaining.

Frink finished with five rebounds, four steals and two assists to go along with seven points. 

Dilyn Becker (five assists) and Tray Wright contributed 10 and 11 points, respectively.

The Shoremen shot 54% from the floor, 35% from 3-point range and 84% from the free-throw line — all season bests.

This was the locals' final non-conference game of the season. 

"We closed the semester out protecting home court twice and winning 2 of 3. We have been playing great team basketball over the past 2 weeks. We have been stacking practices and growing as a team," Washington coach Goodman said in the news release. "I can't wait to get back on the floor with this team."

Washington returns to action Wednesday, Jan. 5 at home against Ursinus for game two of a women's-men's doubleheader. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. 

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