(picture by: Kelly Haymes) ONU loss to St. Francis (IL) 86-77 in the quartefinals of the CCAC Tournament, the Tigers finished the season 18-13
JOLIET, Ill. – In a win or go home format, the Tigers had their season riding on a CCAC Tournament quarterfinal game with the fourth-seeded Saints from the University of St. Francis (Ill.). Following a solid first half in which the Tigers shot over 61 percent, the Saints took over defensively in the second half to win 86-77. ONU’s season ended with the loss, and the Saints advance to the semifinal round of the conference tournament.
The first half belonged to neither team from the get-go as the Tigers (18-13) led by only a point (13-12) with 12:54 to play. ONU went from there to take a seven-point lead, outscoring the Saints (21-11) 9-3 over a three-and-a-half-minute period. However, St. Francis went on an 8-2 run over the next 2:30 to cut the deficit to one (24-23). ONU again found a way to create a lead by involving their post, scoring all eight points. The Tigers led by eight at halftime.
In the first half, Olivet shot 16-for-26 from the field (61.5 percent), 2-for-6 from the three-point line (33.3 percent) and 6-for-8 from the free-throw line (75 percent). They outrebounded St. Francis 16-13. The Tigers had four offensive rebounds and committed five turnovers. The Saints shot 40 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from the three-point line and 100 percent from the free-throw line. The Saints committed seven first-half turnovers and had six offensive rebounds.
As in other games this year, the Tigers needed a second half that was just like their first in order to win. Yet the Saints were unwilling to go away without a fight. St. Francis came out of the gates and tied the game at 46 apiece, outscoring the Tigers 14-6 in the first 3:34. From there the game remained close. Over the next 10 minutes, the two teams exchanged leads seven times and were tied twice. At the 5:57 mark, the Tigers called timeout with a 62-60 lead. From there, the Saints outscored the Tigers 9-0 and never looked back, scoring 26 points over the final six minutes compared to ONU's 15.
Senior Ben Worner (Washington, Ill.) led the Tigers with 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field, 4-for-6 from the three-point line and 1-for-2 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes.
Senior Jake Boyce (Lockport, Ill.) finished with 16 points on 7-for-10 from the field and 2-for-3 from the free-throw line. He added eight rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes.
Freshman Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) finished with 13 points on 5-for-11 from the field and 3-for-5 from free-throw line. He added 13 rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes, good for his fourth double-double of the year.
Sophomore Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) finished with 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field and 2-for-4 from the three-point line. He added five assists in 22 minutes off the bench.
Billy Hubly led the Saints with 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field, 6-for-12 from the three-point line and 1-for-2 from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds and three steals in 34 minutes. Chris Miller finished with 16 points on 5-for-14 shooting and 2-for-6 from the three-point line, and had six assists in 31 minutes. Mark Peters added 15 points and three rebounds in 26 minutes, and Edvinas Presniakovas has 14 points and six rebounds in 31 minutes.
Overall, the Tigers shot 31-for-57 from the field (54.4 percent), 6-for-16 from the three-point line (37.5 percent) and 9-for-16 from the free-throw line (56.3 percent). They outrebounded St. Francis 37-31, committed 13 turnovers and totaled 21 assists, with 10 offensive rebounds and five steals.
St. Francis shot 30-for-64 from the field (46.9 percent), 11-for-30 from beyond the arc (36.7 percent) and 15-for-20 from the free-throw line (75 percent). The Saints had 21 assists, 11 turnovers, 11 offensive rebounds and eight steals.
Worner finished his career with 203 three-pointers, good for fifth all-time. Also, with 19 points against St. Francis, Worner finished his career with 1,061 career points, good for 37th on the all-time scoring list.
The loss ends the career of seniors Jake Boyce, Ben Worner, and Torey Laferney (Flint, Mich.).