Men’s Basketball has a year to remember as PAC champions


Men’s basketball team poses after its PAC championship victory against Alleghe- ny College on Feb. 25. Photo Credit: Chatham Athletics

Dylan Vogel

Chatham University men’s basketball certainly had a year to remember as the team captured its second Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) championship with a 76-73 victory over Allegheny College on Feb. 25. Graduate student Nick Bomar led the team with 16 points during the game in a true team effort.

With a year full of ups and downs, the Cougars were the No. 4 seed in the PAC and won its first playoff game on Feb. 21 against Westminster College 85-76. After the win, the Cougars headed on the road two days later to face Washington & Jefferson College. The Presidents were a team that had given the Cougars some problems in its previous seasons, but this time the Cougars beat the Presidents 87-61.

“We lost five straight games to them [the Presidents]. It was really good that we played them this year in the semi-finals because they are a really good program and they are a tough team,” said Blaine Gartley ‘25.

In the game, Chatham held the Presidents to just one successful three-pointer out of the 20 that were taken. Riding the momentum from the upset, the team then rolled into the championship matchup against Allegheny College Gators and left as champions.

After the championship game, the Cougars head coach David Richards was voted PAC coach of the year. Marcos Cintron ‘23 was voted as an All-PAC first-team selection. Overall, the Cougars had a season to remember – but it did not come easily.

“Our players showed tremendous fight and resilience throughout the season. We went through a stretch in late January and early February where we lost four of five games,” Richards said. “We could have folded as a team, but we continued to make our team better every day and finished the year on a six-game winning streak before the NCAA Tournament.” 

The team had come off of the previous season losing in the PAC championship to Washington & Jefferson in a nail-biting matchup that left the Cougars wanting more this season. 

Bomar is the only player still on the roster from the team’s first PAC championship win back in 2018, and he brought some veteran leadership.

“This year specifically I felt that all the guys, especially within the playoffs, had the mentality that we were going to win every game no matter what,” Bomar said.

The Cougars rode a six-game winning streak into the playoffs. The team felt that it was playing its best basketball down the stretch into the playoffs. 

“To the credit of our players, they were so locked in defensively at the end of the season. We had some of the best defensive performances exactly when we needed them.” Richards said.  “Our energy and toughness on the defensive side was a huge reason we became PAC champions”

The team had to overcome adversity along the way to the championship, but the players envision the success they had this year to continue into the future. 

Overall, the Cougars have not only won the PAC championship but also set plenty of records along the way. Cintron broke the all-time scoring record with 1,277 total points, along with most points in a single season game with 47. Gartley had the most steals in a single-season record with 60, and James Thomas ‘26 now owns the single-game rebound record with 17.

The team also set a record for most three-pointers made in a single season with 294 three-pointers and the most points in a season game with 110. The Cougars hope to ride the highs from this season into the next.