Someone must have forgotten to tell Widener about Swarthmore’s gaudy win percentage at home because The Pride knocked any semblance of pride out of Swarthmore’s Top-10 ranking Saturday afternoon with a decisive double-digit win over the Garnet, 77-66.

Widener won the game’s opening tip and scored on an easy layup seconds later to set the stage for a dominating performance that exposed Swathmore’s every weakness in this non-conference early season rivalry. 

All rivalries need a sexy name. I’m going to call the Widener/Swarthmore rivalry the ‘SEPTA-109 Contest’ since the two schools are literary a 10-minute ride between each other’s campus Septa 109 bus stops. Widener was clearly driving the bus all over Swarthmore who looked to miss their stop on more than a few occasions. 

As much as Swarthmore was the overwhelming favorite going into the contest, Widener has owned Swarthmore in the last 10 contests with a 8-2 record. In the history of the two programs, Widener has been far superior with 68 wins to Swarthmore’s 20 wins since they first tipped off in 1919. 

The first half was typical Swarthmore basketball with both teams making their own little runs and ending the half close but behind by 3. Widener owned the second half and went on a 19-9 run to take a 14-point lead with a little over a minute to go. Swarthmore could not get off any good shots down the stretch to cut into the lead. 

After the game, coach Landry Kosmalski expressed that the loss should serve as a wake up call to his players. Of all the aspects of the game they didn’t deliver on, the one that seemed to upset him most was Widener’s ability to score at will under the basket where Swarthmore was outscored 34-8 in the paint. Widener’s backcourt consistently found open men under the basket for easy layups contributing to a lot of low percentage shots for The Pride (that should say HIGH percentage shots thanks to a comment from a reader). Coach Kosmalski hinted there’s going to be an early wake up call on Sunday to fire up the big screen and watch some film. For those of you on campus, for your own safety, I highly recommend staying as far away from that film session as humanly possible. It will likely be combustable. 

Coach Kosmalski trying to get results

Widener took Swarthmore out of their game plan. On offense, Swarthmore could rarely run through their entire sets before defensive pressure forced bad shots resulting in a shooting percentage of only 32% from the field and 29% from three. Widener, on the other hand, shooting most of their shots from point blank range under the basket, racked up an impressive 50% from the field. They only made four 3-pointers and were a measly 19 for 31 from the foul line, but their work down low was more than enough to make up the difference. 

Swarthmore’s George Visconti put up 20-points on 8-14 shooting, but points were hard to come by elsewhere. They’ll always have a tough time scoring if Vinny DeAngelo is held to only 5 shots (credit Widener’s defense) and Matt Mulvey goes 0-8. Widener, on the other hand, landed 5 players in double digit scoring, and seemed to come up with every loose ball opportunity. 

Visconti draining 2 of his 20

Widener had all the answers on Saturday and Swarthmore could never get any traction in the second half. It’ll be back to the drawing board for the Garnet as they prepare for league play Tuesday against Muhlenberg College in Allentown. Let’s see how fast they can turn things back around. 

Give it up to Widener’s Coach Chris Carideo. He coached a great game.