Men’s basketball falters in final minutes against LCU

The men’s basketball team struggled in the second half and lost 78-75 against Louisiana Christian University (LCU) on Saturday. The Saints drop to 13-11 overall and 8-8 in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). The Wildcats improve to 8-14 overall and 4-10 in RRAC competition.

Head Coach Chris Dial said, “In a two week span we have been the highest ranked and lost to the lowest ranked team in the conference. That inconsistency is a testimony to our immaturity overall. We have four games left and need to refocus and improve. There’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves.”

The Saints were 1-1 against the Wildcats prior to the game.

The Saints came out firing in the first half. They shot 51.7 percent from the field and hit 5-of-12 three-pointers. They forced eight turnovers by the Wildcats and grabbed 19 rebounds. Ruben Monzon and Tommie Law had double-digit points as the Saints took an eight-point lead into the locker room.

OLLU led for most of the second half, but the Wildcats used a late surge to earn the win. The Wildcats took the lead with just over two minutes remaining. They stayed disciplined from the free-throw line and won 77-70. The Saints sit in fifth place in conference with four games remaining.

Offensive/defensive standouts
Monzon led the Saints with 20 points. Monzon also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Rob Gil had four assists.

K.J. Bilbo led LCU with 15 points. Jude Akabueze grabbed a team-high 16 rebounds and added 11 points for a double-double. Ferontay Banks finished with five assists.

Inside the box
OLLU combined for 27-of-53 shooting for 50.9 percent, 6-of-17 from three-point range for 35.3 percent and 15-of-21 from the free-throw line for 71.4 percent. LCU shot 25-of-74 for 33.8 percent, 7-of-28 three pointers for 25 percent and 21-of-28 from the free-throw line for 75 percent.

The Saints grabbed 32 rebounds while the Wildcats collected 49.

Up next
The Saints face Paul Quinn College at home on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.