Photo gathered by Linsey Flinn
The Franciscan University of Steubenville men’s basketball team left behind its losing streak and triumphed over Saint Vincent College 95-93 in a closely-matched overtime home game Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Within 30 seconds, freshman guard Tristan McDannell made the first points for the Franciscan Barons in a game that would be close and frequently tied. Neither team took more than a 10-point lead throughout.
Less than two minutes in, Saint Vincent took a lead that it would maintain through the first half.
Junior guard Justin Mack made the first 3-pointer of the game. Mack was the highest scoring player for the Barons, setting career highs with six made 3-pointers and 24 points.
Senior guard Sean Hickey was close behind with five made 3-pointers and 23 points.
Freshman guard Josh Zimmerman was on fire as he maintained consistently good offensive rebounds. He made a 3-pointer with seven minutes left in the first half, bringing the Barons up from a lag of nine points to a score of 27-21.
The Barons kept up good physical play, keeping Saint Vincent under pressure during the first half, but never came ahead in score.
Saint Vincent came out ahead at the end of the first half, making a basket with only 10 seconds left and bringing the score to 38-32.
The Barons entered the second half with a tight defense and new energy.
After a hard-driven three minutes, the Barons tied up at 42. Mack, Hickey and Zimmerman scored 3-pointers to contribute to the eventual 47-42 lead.
With points locked close, Zimmerman continued to apply pressure on Saint Vincent and the Barons’ energy remained high during the second half.
With five minutes left, Saint Vincent took the lead 69-68 and maintained it as the clock ran down.
A 3-pointer from Mack saved the Barons with 30 seconds remaining and tied the game before the clock ran out, leading to the Baron’s first overtime game of the season.
In a tensely close finish, the Barons broke a tied score when Hickey passed to Zimmerman, who made a buzzer beater layup and brought the final score to 95-93.
Head Coach Joe Wallace said his team showed a total team effort. “Our guys have been a resilient … group and showed a lot of moxy in critical moments. … We had 24 assists on 35 made field goals and that’s a testament to their trust in each other.”
The Barons will next face Grove City College Saturday at 1 p.m. at an away game.