The Franciscan University of Steubenville men’s basketball team lost to the D’Youville College Spartans in a home game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 69-67, bringing its record to four wins and two losses.
It was an exciting afternoon for the Franciscan campus as fans packed the stands to cheer on their team. D’Youville won the tip off to start the half, but the Barons gained possession and made quick work, putting the first points up on the board to gain the lead in the game.
Franciscan’s offense moved the ball smoothly and played with a strong defense that D’Youville struggled to get around. Senior Juwan Perkins hit two 3-point shots back-to-back in the last five minutes of the half, allowing Franciscan to hold the narrow lead at 31-26 going into the break.
Coming off the break, D’Youville went on a run to gain the lead of 37-31. Franciscan retaliated and came back with a run of their own, bringing the score to 37-36 with 17 minutes left to play.
The Spartans maintained the lead however, lengthening it to 61-53 with six minutes left. Franciscan worked hard to regain the lead but was unable to do so. The Spartans were able to press the Barons, making it harder for the Barons to score.
With two minutes left in the half, sophomore guard Sean Hickey hit a jumper and a 3-point shot, putting the score at 62-60 with D’Youville in the lead. But the Spartans pushed back once again and lengthened the lead to 66-62 with 40 seconds left in the game.
With the score at 66-63, junior forward Matt Trent stole the ball from the Spartans and drove to the lane, finishing what was initially called an and-one but was overruled by a different official, drastically changing the momentum of the game.
The Spartans hit two pairs of free throws, bringing the score to 69-62 after the Barons tried to regain possession by fouling the team and sending them to the free throw line. Hickey hit a jumper with 17 seconds left on the clock, bringing the score to 70-67. D’Youville was sent to the free throw line again and made both free throw shots.
At the buzzer, junior guard John Noce made a lay up to bring the final score to 72-69 with the Spartans in the lead.
“I love the toughness of this team,” said Head Coach Joe Wallace. “We didn’t quit, being down eight points with five minutes left and chipping our way back. If a borderline call goes our way with 24 seconds left, we’ll probably win.”
Hickey was the leading scorer of the game with 17 points and went 76 percent from the 3-point line. Noce was the leading rebounder with 11 rebounds and five assists.
The Barons host Pitt-Bradford for the next home game on Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. in the Finnegan Fieldhouse.