4GuysinBlazers

Clock Strikes Midnight for Saints

The Saints Cinderella run in the MAAC Tournament came to an abrupt end this afternoon at the hands of the Loyola Greyhounds. While fighting to the end, the Saints fell 70-60.

The Saints came out hot in the first half, going on an early 11-0 run to jump to a quick 11-4 advantage. The lead would be the high water mark of the Saints season, as Loyola put their foot on the gas and didn’t look back. The Saints saw their advantage gone heading into the locker room at the half, trailing 28-23.

The second half was all Hounds. They came out firing threes to put the Saints squarely on their heels. The hounds shot 7-13 ,54%, from beyond the arc, compared to 22% for the Saints, a major difference in the game. The Saints battled to try to keep the lead within striking distance, but the Hounds always answered back. Pressing until the end, the Saints fought to the finish.

Erik Etherly led the Hounds with a game high 21 points while Shane Walker and Robert Olson each contributed 12.

For their part the Saints showed signs of fatigue, caused by a less than 24 hour turnaround from their dramatic overtime victory over Manhattan. The seniors, along with the entire team, once again battled to keep their collegiate careers alive. Owen Wignot finished his career with another strong performance, scoring 16 points, on 7-12 shooting, to go with his six rebounds. Kyle Downey led all Saints scorers with 17 points, while Brandon Walters finished with 8 and six rebounds.

The Hounds were able to contain OD Anosike on the boards for much of the afternoon, limiting the nation’s leading rebounder to only 5 boards, and outrebounding the Saints 29-20.

Meanwhile the Saints freshman had relatively uneventful games. Rob Poole ended with 0 points on 0-3 shooting, while Evan Hymes finished with 6, shooting 2-10 from the field.

The loss ends a remarkable Saints season. While 14-17 might seem like a disappointing finish, this team has alot to be proud of. Facing depleted numbers and mounting adversity, the Saints turned a season many had written off before it started into a MAAC final four appearance.

Thank you Saints, and especially the senior class of Kyle Downey, Owen Wignot, Brandon Walters, and Conner Fenlon for a truly inspiring season.

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