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2014-02-19 Tigers fall short of upsetting No. 1 Cardinal Stritch
2014 Reid Farchmin (4)

Sophomore scored a career-high 26 points against No. 1 Cardinal Stritch on Wednesday night

Tigers fall short of upsetting No. 1 Cardinal Stritch

Author: Nick Birkey
Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 10:55 AM

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Since January 18, the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team hasn't the opportunity to play a nationally ranked opponent. On Wednesday night, Feb. 19, the Tigers were on the same court as the No. 1 team in NAIA Division II, Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.). ONU had upset on its mind, but was not able to complete the game needed to dethrone the defending NAIA Division II National Champions. ONU fell 83-77 to the Wolves in a tough CCAC showdown.

Following a first minute 6-0 burst by Cardinal Stritch (26-3, 18-0), the Tigers (15-12, 13-5) responded with seven straight points to take a lead just two minutes later. Over the next five minutes, neither team led by more than four as the game developed a very back-and-forth flow. At the 9:18 mark, the Tigers took a five-point lead — their largest of the game — when Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) completed a three-point play. However, the next four minutes belonged to Cardinal Stritch as they went on an 11-2 run to take a two-point lead. With just under five to play in the half, the Tigers trailed 33-32, but failed to score more than three points the rest of the half, compared to 13 for the Wolves. The Tigers turned it over three times in that span.

In the first half, Olivet shot 13-for-29 from the field (44.8 percent), 3-for-11 from the three-point line (27.3 percent) and 6-for-10 from the free-throw line (60 percent). They outrebounded the Wolves 17-16. The Tigers had seven offensive rebounds and committed 12 turnovers. Cardinal Stritch shot 48.4 percent from the field, 30 percent from the three-point line and 86.7 percent from the free-throw line. The Wolves committed seven first-half turnovers and had six offensive rebounds. 

Just as in the first half, the Wolves continued to keep their double-digit lead through the first couple of minutes of the second half. But five minutes in, the Tigers made it 53-50 with a three-pointer. Still, Cardinal Stritch was relentless in keeping their No. 1 ranking and moved their lead from three to 12 over the next five minutes. However, the Tigers had one more run in them; from the 10:54 to 4:46 mark, ONU cut the lead from 12 to only three, making it 74-71. Three straight possessions resulted in misses, forcing ONU to score again to make it a three-point game (76-73). But it wasn’t enough as Cardinal Stritch made five of six free-throws in the final minute to win the game.  

Sophomore Reid Farchmin (Mahomet, Ill.) finished with a career-high 26 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field, 3-for-3 from three-point line and 3-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds, three assists and three steals in 35 minutes.

Sophomore Aaron Larson finished with 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting from the field, 1-for-5 from the three-point line and 2-for-3 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes after fouling out with only five minutes left in the game.

Junior Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) scored 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting and 2-for-8 from the three-point line. He had three rebounds and six assists in 27 minutes.

Senior Tony Banks (Peoria, Ill.) scored seven points, adding six rebounds and one assist in 27 minutes. Sophomore Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) scored four points, going 2-of-7 from the field. He also finished with five rebounds and one assist in 23 minutes.

Derek Semenas led Cardinal Stritch with 36 points on 12-for-21 shooting from the field, 2-for-9 from the three-point line and 10-for-13 from the free-throw line. He added seven rebounds and three steals in 34 minutes. Alex Morgunov finished with 11 points on 3-for-4 shooting and 5-for-9 from the free-throw line, and had two rebounds in 18 minutes. Tony Smit added nine points, seven rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes.

Overall, the Tigers shot 29-for-64 from the field (45.3 percent), 7-for-19 from the three-point line (36.8 percent) and 12-for-20 from the free-throw line (60 percent). They were outrebounded by the Wolves 38-33, committed 17 turnovers and totaled 17 assists, with 12 offensive rebounds and seven steals.

Cardinal Stritch shot 25-for-56 from the field (44.6 percent), 3-for-18 from beyond the arc (16.7 percent) and 30-for-38 from the free-throw line (78.9 percent). The Wolves had 11 assists, 16 turnovers, 12 offensive rebounds and 11 steals.

ONU be back in action Saturday, Feb. 22, at home against conference opponent Indiana University-South Bend at 3 p.m. for Senior Day.