by Luke Stanczyk
In a game that went down to the last shot, the Benedictine Eagles fell to the Cornell Rams 73-70 on Friday night. The loss dropped the Eagles to a record of 1-2, with Cornell improved to 1-1.
The game was close throughout, and it reached its climax on the final play. Down 73-70 with six seconds left, Benedictine put the ball into the hands of senior guard Nate Green. However, his last-second three-pointer was short, giving Cornell the victory.
Cornell was able to get the 73-70 lead on an breakaway layup by junior guard Alex Miller with 13 seconds left. Miller was able to breakaway by getting behind Benedictine’s full-court press.
Much was left to be desired for the Eagles, as they missed numerous free throws in the game’s final minutes. However, Green is not too concerned about BenU shooting just 60 percent from the free throw line.
“It’s not that bad of a problem,” insisted Green about the team’s free throw shooting. “I think today was just one of those days. Sometimes the game just doesn’t give you everything you want.”
BenU was down 68-65 with 1:13 remaining when Green made a jump-shot despite being fouled. After missing the free throw, Miller gave Cornell a 71-67 lead with a three-pointer.
The Eagles would come back with two free throws by sophomore forward Andy Crutchfield. With the score at 71-69, the Rams turned the ball over on their possession, giving BenU an opportunity to tie or take the lead.
Green would get fouled driving to the hoop, but was only able to make one of his two free throws.
“I thought today was our most complete game. That’s why it hurt so much to lose,” said junior forward Mark Pace, who finished with nine points and five rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.” We all bonded as a team, and our coach has talked about getting a group of guys that play well together. I think he found that tonight. We just couldn’t come up with it at the end.”
“As a young team, it’s just hard,” Green added.” When you have inexperience, you just don’t have young players that have been through it yet. So, it’s good for us in a way, but at the same time, when it comes down to it, it’s just tough when you have young guys who haven’t fought through it and turned that fourth gear on.”
The star of the game was Cornell’s point guard, Reggie Greenwood. The sophomore and Berkely, Ill. native finished with 25 points on 10-15 shooting. He also went 5-7 from three-point range, which the Eagles did not anticipate.
“He was a good player. He took some shots we did not think he was going to take,” Pace added. “We watched film on him, and he wasn’t a three-point shooter. I give credit to him. He played a good game.”
For Benedictine, Green led the team with 24 points and four assists and tied Pace for the team lead in rebounds with five. Senior guard Kyle Bickler had nine points, while senior forward David Bernard (eight points, three rebounds) and sophomore guard Alex Edmondson (seven points, four rebounds) also had soild statistical games.
The Eagles have a long lay-off before their next game, as they play MSOE at 7 p.m. at the Dan and Ada Rice Center on Nov. 29th.
“We are just going to come in and work hard, and get ready for the stuff that counts. Conference counts,” Green explained. “We have to be focused on conference and we can’t be focused on anything else.”