Junior guard Carson James dropped an efficient 20 points, leading the Blue Jays to a blowout win over the Muhlenberg College Mules this past weekend.
Graduate student guard Conner Delaney and senior forward Tom Quarry added 15 and 13 points respectively to fuel the offense. On the defensive end, senior guard Ethan Bartlett notched four steals, while junior forward Sidney Thybulle swatted three shots and recorded a steal.
Following an impressive performance defensively, Thybulle shared what his cousin — Philadelphia 76ers wing and NBA All-Defensive Team 2021 selection Matisse Thybulle — taught him in an interview with The News-Letter.
“The main thing I’ve learned from my cousin Matisse is defensive anticipation,” Thybulle said. “He’s really good at knowing what the offensive player is going to do with the ball. Being able to anticipate the ball handler’s next decision gives me the ability to get in position to block shots at the rim or get steals in passing lanes.”
In the first four minutes of action, the game remained tight, with the Jays clinging to a one-point lead. A fast-break three-pointer from Quarry kickstarted a 13-4 run, which gave Hopkins a 24-15 lead with under eight minutes left to play in the first half.
A three by Delaney pushed the lead to double digits, sparking an 18-5 run to close the first half.
Thybulle described the advice head coach Josh Loeffler’s offered the team for the third quarter, though the Jays led by 22 points.
“Coach’s message was to maintain our energy from the first half and continue to find good shots against Muhlenberg’s zone. He emphasized the importance of coming out strong in the first five minutes to put the game out of reach for Muhlenberg,” Thybulle said.
The Jays succeeded in executing this game plan, as the Mules came no closer than within 17 points in the second half.
Their 83-63 victory puts the Jays at 47-20 all-time against Muhlenberg and makes them tied for first place with the Swarthmore College Garnet in the Centennial Conference standings.
With games against Conference rivals Gettysburg College Bullets and Swarthmore this week, Thybulle stressed the importance of carrying their momentum forward.
“Defensively, Muhlenberg was one of our best games of the year. We did a good job making their offense uncomfortable and stringing stops together,” he said. “Our games against Gettysburg and Swarthmore will both be challenging road games where defense will be crucial.”