In a close 101-94 defeat, the Franciscan University of Steubenville men’s basketball team lost to the Hilbert College Hawks Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Hilbert’s defense prevented the Barons, who lacked many passes and baskets, from making any serious marks.
The game took a turn when junior guard Colton Hage was substituted onto the court and made a midrange pull-up jumper that turned the score around.
Notable three-pointers came from sophomore guard Justin Mack, graduate student guard Sean Hickey and sophomore forward Nicholas Allienello. At halftime, fierce competition resulted in a 54-48 score, with Hilbert in the lead.
The tables seemed to turn for the Barons in the second half, with steals from sophomore guard Tristan McDannell, sophomore guard Josh Zimmerman and Hickey. With a 3-pointer from Mack, the Barons took the lead. With eight minutes remaining, the Barons led by 11 points.
But several fouls led Hilbert to the free-throw line, and with a critical defensive rebound, Hilbert pushed for a decisive six-point victory, ending the game 101-94.
Mack had a career high of 26 points at the game.
Head Coach Joe Wallace said, “We put ourselves in position to get another big win, but we just ran out of gas the last few minutes. Hilbert made a lot of plays and they deserve credit.”
Wallace said, “We are continuing to learn and grow together. I’m proud of our effort through a tough week.”
“We lacked the pressure that we are used to applying,” said Hage after the game. “That’s the key for the entire team: defense. Defense wins games, and when we play like dogs on defense, the offense flows smoothly.”
The Barons’ next home game will be against the Bethany College Bison Wednesday, Nov. 27, at 8 p.m. in Finnegan Fieldhouse.