ST. LOUIS, Mo.—Behind four players reaching double-digits in points and the Griffins shooting a season-high 50.7 percent from the floor, the Fontbonne University men's basketball team picked up its first win on the season, defeating Robert Morris-Springfield 96-75.
The Griffins (1-3), dominated in the post with a 53-36 rebounding advantage and owned the paint with 56 points, compared to the Eagles (2-5) 26.
Individually, Kris McCann led FBU with his season-high 19 points, eight assists and six boards. Erich Schark recorded a career-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while Thomas Ritter concluded with 12.
Off the bench, Luke DeLine came up big on both ends of the floor. The St. Louis, Missouri, native, netted 11 points and grabbed down a career-high 15 boards, 13 of which came on the defensive side of the glass.
RMU-Springfield, meanwhile, shot 35.9 percent from the floor and they were paced by Jacarey Drake's game-high 20 points. Leo Bown netted 15, while Tywon Buckley collected a double-double of his own with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
At the 15:36 mark of the first half, the Griffins jumped out ahead at 12-8 on Schark's made lay-up. Five minutes later, the offense continued rolling along as DeLine's 3-pointer pushed the advantage to 26-17.
Less than two minutes later, Tristan Baker's made jumper extended the teams lead out to 11 (32-21). However, over the next three minutes, the Eagles went on an 18-1 run, capped off by Jacarey Drake's made lay-up to give them its largest lead of the game (39-33).
With 1:25 to go, RMU was still leading 47-42 but the Griffins got right back in it in a matter of possessions.
McCann cut it down to 47-45 on his made 3-pointer and after a steal by McCann, he found Baker who made the lay-up to tie the game at 47-47 as both teams headed into halftime.
McCann was the story in the first half with his game-high 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Baker also played a key role off the bench adding nine points.
In the second half, the two teams met-up at 53-all (17:25) on Thomas Ritter's two made free throws. Two minutes later, RMU led 60-58 but a 3-pointer from Ritter and a DeLine lay-up gave Fontbonne the lead back at 63-60, and that forced the Eagles coaching staff to take a timeout.
Out of the break, the Griffins started to distance themselves from the Eagles as Anthony Loper's made bucket extended the lead out to 74-64 with 9:33 to go in regulation.
The Eagles cut it down to 76-71 (6:59) after Drake earned the old-fashioned three-point play. However, that'd be as close as they'd get with FBU closing out the game on a 20-4 run, giving them the 21-point win.
Fontbonne picked up its defensive intensity in the second half holding the Eagles to a mere 25.0 shooting percentage. FBU caught fire offensively going 16-of-29 and out-rebounding RMU, 32-14.
The team looks to build off this win and carry it over to Wednesday in its first SLIAC outing against Spalding. Tip-off is scheduled inside MABEE Gymnasium at 8 p.m.
Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the men's basketball team.