by Luke Stanczyk
Despite coming back from 14 points down, the Benedictine Eagles (4-10, 3-4) dropped a close game to Marian University Sabres (4-11, 1-6) 67-64 on Saturday.
Down three, junior guard Jamison Montgomery rebounded a Marian miss with 18 seconds left. With no timeouts left, senior Nate Green took it upon himself to take the game-tying shot, but he could not get it to fall, giving the Sabres the close victory.
“We fought hard throughout the whole game,” said Montgomery. “There was time where we did good and did what we were supposed to do, and there was times where we let them go on a run.”
BenU trailed 63-49 with just over six minutes left, but they were able to cut it to three with just over a minute left. However, Marian would shut the Eagles out for the last minute.
“It was all defense,” Montgomery explained about the late-game run. “We started running a full court press and full court trap, and it gave us the best chance to come back.”
The Eagles dug themselves a few holes in this game, as they let a lead slip away in the first half to trail by eight at halftime. They also trailed for the entire second half
“We have to come out with more intensity,” junior forward Mark Pace explained. “It seemed like we didn’t start playing until we got down. Next game, we have to come out with that same sense of urgency in the first half.”
Saturday’s loss marked the eighth loss in nine games for BenU and their fourth straight game where they failed to reach the 70-point mark. The team also recorded just five assists, with no one tallying more than one.
“Our intensity accounts for some of our struggles, and it seems at times we can’t find the right lineup,” added Pace. “We shouldn’t have that problem this late in the season. It’s tough right now.”
“I think the main problem with us is not finishing plays,” Montgomery said. “We will stop them for 30 seconds, and then give up an offensive rebound. It’s like a dagger.”
For the Eagles, Green led the team with 14 points, but shot just 25 percent from the field. Sophomore Alex Edmondson came off the bench to add 12 points, hitting three three-pointers. Senior Ralph Ogelsby added eight points and nine rebounds off the bench, and Pace added 11 points and five rebounds.
The Eagles return home for their next game, playing a Dominican team who is equally struggling. All of BenU’s wins have come at home this season, and they expect the return of the student body after winter break to give them a boost.
“It’s going to help tremendously,” said Pace of returning home. “We’re hungry: it’s not like we want to lose right now. Hopefully a home game with the crowd back can energize us.”
“We love home games, and this week will decide how we are going to fare in conference,” Montgomery added. “With three home games this week, we have to come ready to play.”