Having won four of their previous six contests, the Phoenix returned to their home court on Friday looking to regain their winning ways.
But the Oberlin gym proved to offer little solace as Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes leader Clearview departed with a comfortable 77-47 win.
The Phoenix found themselves in a hole right out of the gate as the Clippers forced turnovers and converted them into easy buckets.
Coach Kurt Russell attempted to slow the visitors’ run with a couple early time outs, but they ran out to a 17-2 lead in the first four minutes and increased the margin steadily, closing the half with a 43-13 cushion.
Junior guard Javon Todd led the way for Clearview, scoring 16 points in the first half and dishing out five assists to his teammates. Oberlin’s meager output was fueled by six from senior Devan Yarber.
The Phoenix finally found some of their offensive stroke as they put up a 20-spot in the third quarter thanks to 10 points off the bench from senior Jeremiah Austin, including a six-for-six effort from the charity stripe. Austin added four more tallies in the fourth quarter to lead all Oberlin scorers with 14, followed by Yarber with 13.
“Tonight was not our night,” Russell said. “Clearview came out fast and we just weren’t as ready to play. Those 16 turnovers in the first half definitely hurt our cause. While we did better in the second half, it was just too big a margin to overcome. Give coach (John) Szalay and his boys a lot of credit — they’re undefeated in conference for a reason. They’ve really improved since we saw them earlier in the season.”
Oberlin plays at home Friday for Senior Night against a strong Wellington Dukes. Seniors will be recognized at 7:15 p.m. in advance of the scheduled 7:30 p.m. tip-off time.