The Otterbein men’s basketball team hosted the Earlham Quakers in the season opener of the 2023-2024 season.
With multiple new additions to the team, the question of whether the new-look team could find success was asked frequently, but that question would be answered quickly after the Cardinals jumped out in front of the Quakers early in the game.
The Cardinal offense showed out in the first half, putting up 38 points and going into halftime with a demanding 11-point lead. The Cardinal's big three, Jack Clement, Cam Evans, and Julian Heckman, played a major role in securing the first-half lead and building up momentum going into the second half. The three combined for 26 out of the team's 38 points and also contributed in other areas. Another big contributor was Troy Scowden. Scowden dominated the boards and helped Otterbein extend the lead before leaving the game with an apparent ankle injury.
Coming into the second half, both offenses were firing on all cylinders. After exchanging points on multiple back-to-back possessions, Otterbein would finally pull away. The big three continued their dominance in the second half, putting up another combined 34 points, bringing their combined game total to 60. A couple of other Cardinals stepped up and made big-time plays, including Brennan Rains’ solo 7-0 scoring run. Rains drained back-to-back three-pointers and was fouled mid-shot on the second, resulting in a rare four-point play.
After amazing performances on both sides of the ball, Otterbein starts off their season with a 92-58 win over Earlham. The offense took a huge step forward after scoring 20 more points than the team’s average last season, and the Cardinal defense also saw big improvements while holding the Quakers to 12 points under last season’s team average.
Overall it was a great start to the new season for the Cardinals. If they can keep the momentum and play every game like they did in this one, it will be a very good season for Otterbein men’s basketball.