Joey Spahn
Sports Editor

Photo: Isaiah Gransberry (above) debuting Benedictine’s new all-black uniforms Photo Credit: Isaiah Gransberry

LISLE – The Benedictine University men’s basketball team opened their season with a thrilling win as they beat St. Norbert College 87-79.

The Eagles debuted their brand-new all black uniforms, which added to the excitement of the game.
Although St. Norbert led for most of the 1st half, the Eagles battled back in the middle of the 1st half, which was ignited with a 9-0 run brining them within two points.

Later, strides were hit as if they could not miss. They went on a 15-0 run to give them a demanding 39-28 lead, this was thanks to a 24-2 run that gave them serious momentum. This astounding run was all thanks to the positive energy that the coaches, fans and players all contributed to the men on the court.

“The energy we have as a team is great,” said Isaiah Gransberry. “During the games we feed off of positive plays, when our coaches get fired up and our team in general because everyone is bought in which makes the game tons of fun. Additionally, we have the best fans in the NACC so it’s pretty easy to feed off their energy at our home games and even some away games too!”

Given that the Eagles dominated at the end of the first half, the game was far from over. The game consisted of four ties and seven lead changes, making for a great contest.

With 1:26 left in the game, sophomore Kyle Graebner hit a three pointer to put the eagles up 81-75.
St. Norbert refused to quit and brought the game within two points, but with the clock winding down, senior Kenny Bogus drained a three to stretch the lead further to 84-79. Bogus’ three was the dagger that secured the game for the Eagles, giving them their first win of the season.

“I believe we played solid for it being our first game,” said Gransberry. “We made little mistakes throughout the course of the game, but they are all fixable. Coach Bunkenburg was happy after the game, so we did our job. But we know we need to consistently get better over the course of the year if we want to hoist trophies up at the end.”

They shot 52% from the field and more notably 48% from the three-point line. According to ncaa.com, BenU currently ranks 15th in the nation for three-point percentage. If they can continue this performance, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with.

The men’s basketball team hopes to continue this sharpshooting success at Hope College this Wednesday in Michigan.