ONU honored the 2013 senior class oh Saturday: Torey Laferney, Ben Worner, and Jake Boyce; they combined for 35 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – The Tigers honored three seniors for their outstanding careers on Saturday, February 16, when ONU hosted the University of St. Francis (Ill.) for the final regular season game of the year. It was a tough, hard-fought game between two long conference rivals with ONU coming out victorious, 72-62. The win was the Tigers' ninth in their last 11 and puts them fifth going into the conference tournament next week. St. Francis remains as the fourth seed.
Neither team wanted to give up an early lead in the first half as both teams exchanged five times before the 10-minute mark. The game remained tied at 16 apiece with 10:01 to play. The Tigers (17-12, 14-10) then went on an 8-3 run to take a modest five-point lead with 4:38 to play. But only a minute and a half later, the game was tied again after a Chris Miller jumper. That’s when the Tigers shut down the Saints (19-11, 15-9) and wouldn’t allow another point the rest of the half. ONU scored the next seven to take a 35-28 lead into halftime.
In the first half, Olivet shot 12-for-26 from the field (46.2 percent), 5-for-10 from the three-point line (50 percent) and 6-for-10 from the free-throw line (60 percent). Each team had 18 rebounds. The Tigers had six offensive rebounds and committed 12 turnovers. St. Francis shot 37 percent from the field, 30 percent from the three-point line and 62.5 percent from the free-throw line. The Saints committed 12 first-half turnovers and had seven offensive rebounds.
The second half started out in favor of the Saints as they shrunk the seven-point lead in a hurry, scoring seven of the first nine points and eventually tying the game at 44 apiece (14:09). ONU got back out to a 50-45 lead over the next five minutes and stretched to eight (58-50) with only 3:38 to play. The Tigers only gave up two points from 9:20 to the 3:23 mark. The Tigers would never look back as their largest lead was 13 with 37 seconds remaining.
Freshman Aaron Larson (Tolono, lll.) led the Tigers with 16 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field, 1-for-1 from the three-point line and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added seven rebounds and two blocks in 20 minutes. All but one rebound came in the second half.
Senior Jake Boyce (Lockport, Ill.) finished with 16 points on 5-for-13 shooting from the field and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes.
Senior Ben Worner (Washington, Ill.) finished with 11 points on 4-for-10 shooting from the field and 3-for-7 from the three-point line. He also had four rebounds in 36 minutes.
Senior Torey Laferney (Flint, Mich.) finished with eight points on 2-for-7 shooting from the field and 4-for-6 from the free-throw line. He also had four rebounds in 26 minutes.
Sophomore Tony Banks (Peoria, Ill.) added seven points, six rebounds and seven assists in 24 minutes. Sophomore Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) gave the Tigers nine points and three rebounds off the bench in 13 minutes.
Chris Miller led the Saints with 18 points on 8-for-20 shooting from the field, 1-for-7 from the three-point line and 1-for-2 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes. Andrew Lerg finished with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting and 4-for-8 from the three-point line, and had six rebounds in 27 minutes. Billy Hubly added 11 points and three rebounds in 26 minutes.
Overall, the Tigers shot 22-for-54 from the field (40.7 percent), 6-for-18 from the three-point line (33.3 percent) and 22-for-28 from the free-throw line (78.6 percent). They outrebounded St. Francis 40-38, committed 17 turnovers and totaled 15 assists, with 14 offensive rebounds and five steals.
St. Francis shot 23-for-62 from the field (37.1 percent), 9-for-27 from beyond the arc (33.3 percent) and 7-for-12 from the free-throw line (58.3 percent). The Saints had 10 assists, 19 turnovers, 16 offensive rebounds and five steals.
Worner has made 197 career three-pointers, good for fifth all-time. Worner is 15 behind Jeremy Riddle for fourth (212). Also, with 11 points against St. Francis, Worner now has 1,034 career points and is 31 shy of 36th on the all-time scoring list (Chris Graham with 1,065).
ONU will begin postseason play in the first round of the CCAC Division II Tournament on Monday, February 18, at home against Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) at 7:30 p.m.