Men’s basketball comes up short against Western Colorado
The Saints men’s basketball team erased a 21-point deficit in the final period but came up short to lose to NCAA D2 Western Colorado University (WCU) 80-84. The Saints drop to 4-4, while the Mountaineers record their first win and move to 1-5.
Head Coach Chris Dial commented, “It was a tough game against a D2 school starving for a win…now we are the team starving for a win.
“It was a better effort than yesterday [Saints lost an exhibition to Colorado Mesa University], but not good enough. We’re looking forward to getting back home.”
This is the first matchup between the Saints and the Mountaineers.
The Saints kept the game close for most of the first half. Their biggest lead was seven after nine minutes. With the game at 20-13, the Mountaineers got to within two at the 10-minute mark. A field goal from Joseph Anderson (SR/Houston, Texas) scored to keep the Saints ahead at 22-20. WCU tied the score at 22 and again at 24, and a three from Matthew Ragsdale gave the Mountaineers the 27-24 lead. Anderson got back the lead after an Oscar Maldonado (JR/Greeley, Colo.) steal, and following a foul, Anderson gave the Saints the 29-27 lead. The advantage was shared for the next two minutes, but the Mountaineers were able to push ahead to lead 38-31 at the half.
Anderson led the team with 13 points after 20 minutes. Ragsdale was his team’s leader at the half with 20 points.
The Mountaineers continued their lead in the second half, taking a game-high lead at 53-36 at the 15-minute mark. Tommie Law (FR/Semmes, Ala.) sparked the Saints’ offense after his made shot as the Saints embarked on a 9-0 run to trail 50-60 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Saints continued to battle to get to within single digits. The Mountaineers forged through to take back a 16-point lead.
Lennox Jones (SR/Richmond, Texas) drove the Saints back to within single digits with about a minute left in the game. A shot from Maldonado with less than 40 seconds left gave the Saints hope as they trailed 75-81. Jones made a three with two seconds left, and the Saints fell 80-84.
Anderson had a season-high 26 points as he connected on 7-of-11 from the field and 12-of-15 from the charity stripe. Ellis Jones (JR/Houston, Texas) added 17 points, and Monzon scored 11. Monzon and Jones marked six rebounds, while Ellis had four assists and three steals.
WCU’s Ragsdale scored 38 points for his team, Aver Rembao added 16, and Jordan Veening 12. Veening led in rebounds with eight, while Kade Juelfs marked seven assists,
Inside the box
OLLU combined for 30-of-59 shooting for 50.8 percent, 4-of-16 from three-point range for 25.0 percent and 16-of-25 from the free-throw line for 64.0 percent. WCU shot 29-of-55 for 52.7 percent, 6-of-25 three-pointers for 24.0 percent and 20-of-25 from the free-throw line for 80.0 percent.
The Saints grabbed 35 rebounds while the Mountaineers collected 29. OLLU forced 14 turnovers and committed 15.
The Saints will play NCAA D1 University of the Incarnate Word on Dec. 1 in San Antonio.