FORT WAYNE, Ind. – After trailing by 15 at the half, the Goshen College men's basketball team made a run at the 16th ranked Cougars of the University of Fort Wayne. Their furious rally knotted the score as late as one minute remaining in the contest, but the hosts scored the last six to close out a 70-64 Crossroads League victory Saturday afternoon.
"I'm proud of the way we fought back, but I am equally disappointed in how we played in the first half," head coach Neal Young said. "Today was a prime example of who we are and who we can be if we don't play together and let our attitudes go south."
He continued, "We are the team that showed up in the second half, sharing the ball, fighting for boards and playing with team first attitudes. We just can't let that other team show up."
While Goshen committed turnovers in its first two possessions of the game, the Cougars went 3-of-3 from the field to build a near immediate 7-0 advantage.
The Leafs fought back with three balls by Billy Geschke and Stefon Luckey, closing within one (11-10), but another run by the hosts midway through the half put them up double figures. Saint Francis held Goshen scoreless for more than three minutes and used a 9-0 spurt to take a 28-14 lead.
The Cougars committed just one turnover (10 by Goshen) in the first half and grabbed eight offensive rebounds as they settled into a 40-25 lead at the intermission.
Out of the break, though, the Leafs got everyone involved. Four different players scored as the visitors quickly trimmed the gap, using an 8-0 run to get within five (47-42) at the 12:07 mark. Three minutes later, Luckey dished out one of his eight assists on the afternoon, setting Geschke up for a 3-pointer to bring Goshen within two (51-49).
Saint Francis' lead remained between two and five points until Jerron Jamerson scored four straight to knot the score at 62-62 with just 3:14 to play. Jamerson had a huge second half, scoring 19 of his game-high 27 points after the halftime break.
Tied at 64-64, Josh Hogan scored inside to give the hosts a two-point cushion. The Maple Leafs turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and free throws aided the final six-point gap.
Jamerson hit 10-of-14 from the field for his game high 27 points, while Geschke hit three 3-pointers for 19 points. Austin Fox paced Saint Francis with his eighth double-double of the year (18 points and 10 rebounds), while Hogan scored 19 and Scott Kohne had 12.
The Maple Leafs (4-12, 1-3 CL) return for the first time in exactly one month when they host Marian University Tuesday night.