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College notebook: Braun, Bassler end college careers in Pinstripe Bowl

Offensive linemen Jeff Braun and John Bassler didn't end their win-filled careers the way they would've hoped, as the West Virginia University football team fell 38-14 to Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Friday.

The Mountaineers' offense, which averaged 41.6 points and 518.5 yards per game during the regular season, never got off the snow-covered ground, finishing with 285 yards in the defeat.

With that, West Virginia ended the season 7-6 after opening the year 5-0 and rising to the top 10 in the national rankings.

Braun (Winters Mill) and Bassler (Francis Scott Key) will have much more positive memories to take from their careers than this year's collapse, as the Mountaineers won at least nine games in each of the duo's first four years with the team appearing in a bowl game every season.

Braun ended his career having played in 50 games, including 39 starts.

Bassler appeared in 31 games during his career.

SOPHOMORE RISE: Heavyweight Justin Kozera (Winters Mill) has taken a significant step forward during his sophomore season with the Gardner-Webb University wrestling team.

Kozera has started the year 12-5 with five pins. Last season, the former Times Wrestler of the Year went 13-17 to finish fifth on the team in victories.

Kozera's top performance this season came at the King College Open in November, when he took the heavyweight title by going 4-0 with two pins.

STRONG START: Courtney Griffith's senior season with the Mount St. Mary's University swimming team has begun quite well.

The Westminster graduate has excelled in both of her meets. At the Radford Invitational in November, she helped the Mountaineers win the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays and place second in the 800 freestyle relay. On her own, Griffith placed third in the 100 backstroke, third in the 50 freestyle and ninth in the 100 butterfly.

Most recently, Griffith won the 100 butterfly and finished third in both the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle in a Dec. 1 tri-meet where the Mount upended Radford but lost to James Madison.

FLASHY FRESHMAN: Evan Horn (Winters Mill) has earned a starting job right away as a freshman with the Randolph College men's basketball team.

Horn has started all 11 games at guard for the Wildcats, helping them to an unblemished 11-0 start. He leads the squad with 3.2 assists per game, ranks third with 29.2 minutes per contest and fourth with 7.9 points per game.

Horn scored 13 points in his collegiate debut on Nov. 16 and has scored nine points in four other contests. He has recorded at least four assists in five games, topping out at seven on Dec. 8.

HONOR ROLL: McDaniel College placed 28 athletes on the Centennial Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll. To qualify, the student must be a starter or key reserve, be at least a sophomore and have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.4.

Men's cross country: sophomore Peter Merkel, senior Graham Miles, sophomore Matthew Peterson, junior Danny Scott, junior Jason Stein.

Women's cross country: senior Kristin Beil, senior Joy Chand, senior Sarah Holbrook, junior Becky Kaler, junior Jasmine McCormick, junior Phoebe McHale, sophomore Avalon McOmber, junior Lauren Murray, junior Amber Slater (Winters Mill).

Field hockey: junior Danielle DeColli (South Carroll), junior Julie Little, senior Paige Messersmith, sophomore Bayle Vohs, sophomore Caila White.

Football: sophomore JT Kotowski, senior Zach Martin, sophomore Seth McFall, junior Joe Rollins.

Men's soccer: senior Ben Eveler.

Women's soccer: sophomore Kristin Hart, senior Kelly Purcell (Winters Mill), junior Sam Wilson.

Volleyball: senior Annie McShea.

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