SOMERS, Wis. -- Seventh-ranked Bellarmine fell behind by 16 in the first half and home-standing Wisconsin-Parkside fought off a comeback to hold on for a 76-74 victory in a Great Lakes Valley Conference game Thursday night at DeSimone Gymnasium.
The Knights (13-3, 5-3 GLVC) had a chance to send the game into overtime or win the game outright after Bellarmine's Corbin Maynard forced a turnover with just 3.9 seconds remaining in the game. However, the Rangers' defense came up with a strip of the basketball and Bellarmine failed to get off a shot on the final possession.
The Rangers (15-2, 8-0 GLVC) got a huge effort from Jimmy Gavin, who came off the bench to pour in 30 points and dish out six assists. The Knights, who were without the services of George Suggs due to a sprained ankle sustained in the Southern Indiana game, were led by Keisten Jones' 17 points while Jake Thelen added 16 points and five assists.
"It's our first road loss of the year," said Bellarmine Coach Scott Davenport. "I've been very, very proud of them. But you break this down statistically so many ways, and we only turn it over 11 times; we made more shots than they did; we shoot 50 percent from the field. But in the second half we just couldn't keep them out of the lane. They only missed seven shots the entire second half."
For Bellarmine, it was the third loss in four games. All three losses were by just two points, and in all three losses, free throw shooting has been an issue. Tonight, the Knights missed their first four charity tosses and finished making 13 of 20 for 65 percent. "In a two point game, they (UWP) shoot two less and make two more," Davenport pointed out on his postgame radio interview. The Rangers connected on 15 of 18 free throws in the game.
No. 1 West Liberty 93, Wheeling Jesuit 89 (OT)
WHEELING, W.Va. -- Unbeaten and No. 1-ranked West Liberty went 6-for-6 from the foul line during the final 23 seconds of overtime Thursday night to hold off upset-minded Wheeling Jesuit 93-89 before an overflow crowd at the McDonough Center.
Coach Jim Crutchfield's Hilltoppers (15-0, 11-0) had to overcome a 13-point second-half deficit to hand the hard-luck Cardinals (6-8, 4-7) their fifth consecutive loss – all coming by margins of 6 points or less. It marked the first time all season that West Liberty had trailed at any point in the second half.
"With the schools being so close, it's always a great game when we play these guys," Crutchfield said. "Wheeling played really hard and shot the ball extremely well, especially in the first half. I told our guys at halftime that there is nothing like a comeback win and this was our chance to get one."
Jesuit shot a sizzling 54 percent (19-of-35) from the floor – including an eye-popping 64 percent (9-of-14) from behind the 3-point arc in the first half to take a 53-42 lead into the locker room at intermission.
The Hilltoppers never trailed in the extra frame. Hoehn opened the scoring with a rebound hoop and Dyer – who scored all 13 of his points after halftime to go over the 1,000-point mark for his career – added two more free throws for an 81-77 lead.
The Cardinals forced ties at 81 and 83 but Cedric Harris put the visitors ahead to stay 86-83 with a dagger of a 3-pointer at 1:32.
Harris, C.J. Hester and Dyer combined to hit all six of their free throws in the final 23 seconds to seal the win.
Harris led West Liberty with 22 points and 5 assists while Hoehn added 20 points off the bench with 5 3-pointers. Bonifant posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds while Dyer's 13 points and C.J. Hester's 10 rounded out the double-figure scorers.
Wheeling Jesuit got a game-high 26 points from Justin Fritts – 22 of them in the first half – while Siefert added 22 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists.
No. 5 Drury 76, Missouri-St. Louis 73
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Kameron Bundy scored 23 points, including a pair of big buckets down the stretch, to help No. 5 Drury snag a 76-73 Great Lakes Valley Conference victory against Missouri-St. Louis Thursday night at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
Lonnie Boga added 12 points for his fifth straight double-figure scoring effort and Cameron Adams had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers, who moved to 15-1 overall and 7-1 in the GLVC with their 20th consecutive victory at The O'.
Tylor Wimbish had 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Tritons, who fell to 10-6 overall and 4-4 in the league.
Drury built a 41-31 lead over UMSL, but watched the Tritons battle back to take a 52-51 lead with 13:14 to go. It was back and forth from there, with neither team leading by more than four the rest of the way.
The teams were tied at 68 with four minutes to go when Bundy scoredon back-to-back drives to give DU some breathing room (72-68). The Tritons eventually cut it to one on a layup by Wimbush with 29 seconds left, but single free throws by Adams and Bundy from there and a stop by the Panthers in the final 28 seconds.
"Thank you crowd, thank you students, thank you fans ... you got behind a team that needed some help," Drury coach Steve Hesser said."UMSL came in here and played very hard and very well, and they were physical on both ends of the floor and did a nice job.
"We made some shots in the first half, got the 10-point lead, and were just kind of able to hang on down the stretch."
Hesser was also quick to credit junior guard Ben Fisher, who had a steal and several hustle plays to help get the Panthers going despite just playing five minutes.
"My hat's off to Ben," Hesser said. "If I had a game ball, I'd give it to him. His energy ... that's the Ben Fisher that we know. We've had several talks with him with how we need to get that bulldog mentality back, because he can do that for us. He was huge for us tonight."
Drury outrebounded the Tritons 37-35, but gave up 14 offensive rebounds. The Panthers shot 48 percent from the field (28 of 58) - five percent below their season average - but limited UMSL to 25 of 59 (42 percent).
Femi John added 12 points and Darian Cartharn had 11 points for the Tritons.
No. 19 Lewis 73, No. 9 Southern Indiana 64
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. -- Ninth-ranked Southern Indiana could not overcome 14 turnovers in dropping a 73-64 decision at 19th-ranked Lewis Thursday night. USI falls to 14-2 overall and 6-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while Lewis goes to 14-2, 6-2 GLVC.
The Screaming Eagles took command early by surging out to a 7-0 lead. Lewis flew back into the contest with a 10-0 run of its own and posted a 10-7 lead with 12 minutes left before halftime.
A 10-3 run put the Eagles back in the driver's seat, 21-17, and into the lead through the intermission. USI pushed its advantage back to six points, 28-22, before settling for the 28-26 halftime lead.
Lewis would go on to lead by as many as 14 points, 73-59. USI would get the final four points of the contest as the game would go into the books as a 73-63 loss for the Eagles.
Individually for the Eagles, Nelson finished the game with a team-high 14 points, but saw his double-double streak end at 15 games. The senior would tie for the team lead with six rebounds.
As a team, the Eagles outrebounded the Flyers 33-32 and outshot Lewis, 48 percent (24-50) to 45 percent (28-62). USI, however, committed 14 turnovers that resulted in 16 Lewis points.