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Griffins succumb to defending champs in Championship contest

Griffins succumb to defending champs in Championship contest

St. Louis, Mo. - After defeating Webster University by six points to advance to the SLIAC Tournament Championship game, the Griffins lost to defending SLIAC Tournament Champion Spalding University 58-51 last night.

The back and forth championship contest saw 12 ties and 11 lead-changes, with Spalding holding a one-point (26-25) advantage at halftime. With the game tied at 35 with 12:37 to play, Spalding scored nine straight points to lead 44-35, the largest lead of the game. Two consecutive Blake Welch three-pointers would get the Griffin's within three points with plenty of time on the clock (8:10). Fontbonne trailed by two with four minutes to go when Spalding put six unanswered points on the board to lead 56-48 with 48 seconds to go. Fontbonne's Orkan Bakis put up a trey to cut the lead to five points with just 15 seconds left. Forced to foul, Spalding made both free throws to end the game.

During the game, Jared Greenlee scored 14 points, going 5-for-7 on the night with five rebounds. Welch drained his two treys on the night, totaled nine points with two rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one assist. Ben Kissing was a big player in the beginning of the game for Fontbonne. He recorded eight points while Bakis added eight rebounds, six points and two blocks for the Griffins.

After the game, Richard Dorhauer and Blake Welch were named to the SLIAC All-Tournament Team.

Fontbonne's fight to the SLIAC Tournament gives fans hope for continued success under new head coach Anthony Hall. The Griffins posted a final 13-14 record, the most wins for Fontbonne men's basketball since the 2008-2009 team advanced to the NCAA Tournament.