2/14 Local College Basketball Recap

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A recap of Saturday’s local college basketball games in the area.

Lienhoop leads way in #11 Cougars’ win over Knights

Freshman Bryce Lienhoop scored 17 points against Marian University for the second time this season and this time got the ‘W’ to go along with equalling his career scoring high in a 77-68 University of Saint Francis victory on Saturday afternoon.

Combined with an 87-74 Mt. Vernon Nazarene University win over seventh-ranked Bethel College, the Cougars are alone in second place in the Crossroads League with two games left in the regular season.

“We just felt like we had chip on our shoulder to come out and kind of pay them back for the last loss we got,” Lienhoop told USF director of broadcasting Jeff Mahoney afterwards.
Lienhoop got ample support from Austin Fox, who added an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double; Kegan Comer, who added 12 points; Josh Hogan who finished with 11 points, and Kyle Sovine who added 10 points despite getting popped in the mouth. Fox played in pain as well after diving out of bounds for a ball early in the first half.

“Crazy league,” USF Head Coach Chad LaCross said when told MVNU had upset Bethel. “Now we’ve got to go over to Huntington and take care of business. We got another great team win here today. We contested a lot of shots, got pressure, our inside players did a great job, and we have to be aggressive. That’s what you saw today. We didn’t play as aggressively in our first meeting and you saw the difference today.”

The Knights, who upset then No. 11 USF 62-59 on Jan. 17, led once at 4-3, before USF (22-6, 12-4 CL) regained the lead on a Seth Small 3-pointer for a 6-4 lead. The Cougars inched out to a 12-6 lead at 13:11 on Lienhoop’s first bucket of the game. Small hit another 3-pointer from the right wing producing the Cougars first double-digit lead of the game, 21-10, with 9:51 to play in the first half. A Lienhoop scored at 8:12 produced USF’s largest lead of the first half, 13 at 25-12. MU slashed the deficit to five, 25-20 at 6:42, but USF responded pushing back to double digits and led 36-24 at halftime on Comer’s running one-hander in the lane that finished the scoring with 45 seconds to play.

The Cougars opened a 59-41 advantage on a Comer 3-pointer at 9:15 but the Knights whittled away at the USF lead drawing uncomfortably close inside a minute to play. James Crowley’s 3-pointer with just 50 seconds left trimmed the USF lead to six, 72-66, and after two Jordan Hahn free throws made it eight 74-66, Jason Riley’s reverse layup slashed it two just six again a 74-68 with 40 seconds to play.

Hogan made 3-of-4 free throws in the time remaining while the Knights missed two 3-point attempts and a 2-pointer as time ran out.

The win was the fourth consecutive victory for the Cougars, the seventh in their last eight games and their eighth in the last 10 games. It also made this team just third to win at least 22 regular season games. The 2009-10 Cougars were the last to do it and the 1999-00 Cougars went a USF record 27-4 during the regular season. This team is the seventh to win at least 22 games in a season.

The Cougars controlled a 40-18 difference in points in the paint and a 10-5 advantage in second-chance points. Lienhoop outscored the MU bench by himself and USF got 10 more points off the bench for a 27-15 advantage.

(Recap written by Bill Scott, USF Sports Information Director)

Defensive breakdown costs USF women upset shot at #7 Marian
Mallory Hester gave the University of Saint Francis a 56-55 lead with just 12.9 seconds to play, but seventh-ranked Marian University got the game-winner on a Jessica Almeida layup with eight seconds to play for a 57-56 win on Saturday afternoon.

The eighth-ranked Lady Cougars couldn’t get a shot off in time in the time remaining slipping to 20-8 overall, 11-5 in Crossroads League action. MU is 24-4, 13-3 in the CL and solidly in second place. The Knights overcame a 27-25 halftime deficit to win by outscoring the Lady Cougars 32-29 in the second half.

USF led at halftime despite shooting .323 (10 for 31) from the field. Shooting .500 (5 for 10) from 3-point range helped overcome a 9-for-18 shooting first half for the Knights, who improved to 12-0 at home and won their eighth consecutive game.

Hester led USF scoring with 14 points and Akyah Taylor added 13 points, nine in the second half. Taylor, who entered the game leading the CL in field goal percentage at .566, managed to hit just 4-of-11 shots (.363). Brooke Ridley struggled as well hitting just 2-of-12 shots, well under her .541 shooting percentage for the season.

“We played really hard, played really good defense, but we just couldn’t make the 5-6 foot shots,” USF Head Coach Gary Andrews lamented. “We shot pretty well from the perimeter, but couldn’t make the easy shots. I was happy with the way we took care of the ball. It was disappointing to have that defensive breakdown at the end, but Marian is a great team. We have to keep working at playing better longer.”

MU used a 7-0 run to break away from the third tie of the game at 42 with 8:15 to play. Lakan Hasser-Smith buried a 3-pointer that extended the MU lead to 49-42 with 5:47 to play, but USF rallied with a 7-0 counterattack that deadlocked the conflict at 49 with 4:06 to play. Taylor hit two free throws to cap the run. Almeida put MU back in front and the Knights stayed there until Hester’s long 2-pointer from the right wing. Then Almeida scored an unchallenged layup for the Knights’ game-winning basket.

MU led by as many a six points in the first half, 15-9 at 10:47, but USF outscored MU 18-10 to hold a tenuous two-point lead at halftime. The Lady Cougars opened up a six point lead, 31-25 at 18:04 in the second half after a Ridley score in the paint. MU clawed back to tie the game at 37, but senior guard Emily Montgomery rainbowed in a 3-pointer and USF led until Joana Soeiro’s three-point play tied the game at 42 with 8:15 to play.

USF closes out its regular-season home schedule on Wed., Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. against No. 19 Huntington University, then closes the regular season at Goshen College on Sat., Feb. 21. USF will open defense of its CL Tournament championship on Tues., Feb. 24 at Hutzell A.C. at 7 p.m. against an opponent to be determined provided the Lady Cougars win their final two games.

(Recap written by Bill Scott, USF Sports Information Director)
IN Tech WBB loses heartbreaker to UNOH on Senior Day
Even though it was cold and snowy outside, it’s was hot and intense inside the Schaefer Center on Senior Day as the Indiana Tech women’s basketball team fell in the final second to UNOH, 70-68 on Saturday afternoon.

The game started with a Racers (14-14, 12-8 WHAC) lay-up but Taylor Seiss answered with a three-pointer to put the Warriors (12-16, 11-9 WHAC) in front. Following the three, senior Shallante Clements got the steal and the basket on the fast break to put Tech up 5-2. The Warriors then went on a 7-2 run to push the lead to six. After the Racers cut the lead in half, a three-point play from Lindsey Masnari pushed the advantage to a first half high of seven, 18-11, with 13:29 on the clock. The visitors then used a 14-4 run to take their first lead of the game, 25-22. Tech was able to tie the score twice, on a Seiss trey and a jumper from Payton Wood, but the Racers scored the final three points of the half to lead 35-31 at the break.

UNOH scored 11 of the first 17 points to begin the second half and push the Warriors deficit to a game-high nine points, but Taylor Carver and Clements combined to score 10 straight to propel Tech to a one-point advantage. After trading baskets, Seiss knocked down a pair of free throws to go up two, but the Racers responded with a 10-0 run of their own to go back ahead eight, 59-51 with 8:24 to play. Clements and Carver again brought the home team back, scoring nine consecutive points, seven from the senior, to once again take a slim lead. Neither team led by more than two points over the final four minutes, tying four times, but UNOH made a jumper with three seconds to play and the Warriors last second three came up just short in the 70-68 loss.

Tech finished the contest 20-for-49 (40.8%) from the floor, 5-for-12 (41.7%) from behind the arc and 23-for-26 (88.5%) at the charity stripe while also tallying eight steals. Defensively, Tech allowed the Racers to shoot 47.5 percent (28-for-59) in the contest while permitting just two three-pointers.

Clements shined on senior day, tying Seiss with a game-high 17 points while also grabbing five rebounds and collecting four steals. Carver finished with 16 points and seven rebounds while Masnari added 11 baskets and seven boards.

The Warriors return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in Dearborn, Michigan as they face Michigan-Dearborn at the UMD Fieldhouse at 5:30 p.m.

(Recap written by Zach Short, Indiana Tech Sports Information Director)
IN Tech MBB gives #18 Racers all they can handle on Senior Day
Despite the cold temperatures, Franklin Lindsey and the Indiana Tech men’s basketball team heated up the Schaefer Center, giving No. 18 UNOH all they could handle in a 74-65 loss on Dan Kline Court on Saturday afternoon.

The Racers (22-6, 17-3 WHAC) opened the scoring with a pair of free throws and the Warriors (10-18, 7-13 WHAC) got a layup from Arben Camaj to tie the score. After trading baskets the visitors scored the next five points to push the lead to nine. A three-pointer from Josh Fleming followed by a Lindsey jumper cut the deficit to four, 17-13. The teams traded three-point baskets before UNOH went on another burst, scoring 10 of 13 to push the Tech deficit to 11. The Warriors were able to close out the half on a 9-4 run to trail by just six, 34-28, at the break.

Fleming sank a pair of free throws to start the final 20 minutes, cutting the margin to four, but the Racers scored six unanswered to go back up 10. Back-to-back layups from Lindsey and Camaj made it 34-40, but again UNOH had an answer. A pair of Lindsey buckets cut the deficit to six again but the visitors scored 12 of 19 points to take a game-high 13 point lead and the Warriors never got the run they needed. UNOH hit free throws down the stretch to seal the nine point win.

The difference in the contest was at the charity stripe where the Warriors were a perfect 5-for-5, but the Racers finished 14-for-21 (66.7%). Tech finished the game 26-for-54 (48.1%) from the field and 8-for-24 (33.3%) from distance while UNOH was 27-for-57 (47.4%) overall and 6-for-18 (33.3%) from beyond the arc.

Before the game the Warriors honored senior Jeremy Wohltman, but it was Lindsey who did all he could to get Tech the win, recording another double-double with a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. Fleming continued his hot shooting, finishing with 16 points; his third double-digit effort in the last four games.

The Warriors return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in Dearborn, Michigan as they face Michigan-Dearborn at the UMD Fieldhouse at 7:30 p.m.

(Recap written by Zach Short, Indiana Tech Sports Information Director)
Poor shooting dooms #19 Huntington women
The Lancers of Grace College (14-14, 7-9) snapped the No. 19 HU women’s basketball team’s five-game win streak Saturday afternoon by handing the Foresters a 56-50 loss at Platt Arena. It marks HU’s third loss at home this season as they drop to 19-7 overall, 10-6 in league play.

As one of the nation’s top shooting teams, the Foresters entered the contest ranked ninth in NAIA Division II in field goal percentage (.446) but on this given night, there seemed to be a lid on the basket. Ice cold shooting doomed Coach Culler’s squad as their 32.1 percent (18-for-56) was the team’s poorest shooting performance of the season.

Huntington also entered the contest known for their accuracy behind the arc where they’ve been averaging just under six triples an outing at a rate of 38.8 percent, the third best percentage in the country. However, the rims were not so kind today as they connected on only three of their 17 attempts for 17.6 percent.

Grace, on the other hand, scored eight more field goals than their hosts at a clip of 48.1 percent (26-for-54) behind Chloe Pridgen who came off the bench to toss in a team-high 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Gabby Bryant added ten points as the only other Lancer to score in double digits.

After holding a slim lead through the first eight minutes, Huntington’s only other bright spot offensively came in the second half they went on an 11-0 run behind Kelsey Hubble and Miranda Palmer who combined to go 4-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. The spurt spanned two-minutes and turned their three-point deficit into an eight-point advantage of 42-34 at the 11:56 mark.

It felt like the tides had finally turned for the Foresters but things went grossly awry instead as they finished out the contest a dismal 4-for-17 from the field and coughed up the ball four times allowing the Lancers to take control.

Over the next seven minutes, Grace outscored their hosts 14-3 to regain the lead at 48-47 with just under five minutes remaining. Huntington would go on to enjoy a one-point lead on two different occasions with their last advantage coming at the 3:12 mark. Unfortunately they managed only two points the rest of the way while Grace scored on four of their final five possessions to pull off the upset.

It was a toss-up as to which half was more frustrating for Culler and crew as HU managed only six field goals through the first twenty minutes on 22.2 percent shooting. Free throw shooting kept the Foresters within striking distance as they knocked down seven of their eight freebies to find themselves down by five, 25-20, heading into intermission.  The Foresters finished the day 15-for-17 from the line for 88.2 percent behind Palmer and Jaclene Bonnema who each went a perfect 4-for-4.

Hubble finished with a game-high 14 points. Palmer added 12 points while Amelia Recker posted 11 points and a game-high ten boards for her sixth double double of the season. Courtney Baker swiped a game-high five steals.

Huntington travels to Fort Wayne on Wednesday to face #8 Saint Francis at 7 p.m.

(Recap written by HU Athletics)

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