CARLINVILLE, Ill.— The Fontbonne University men's basketball team forced a late steal with seconds remaining and had the chance to win it before the buzzer, but the come-from-behind effort came up short in the 81-80 loss against Blackburn.
With 34.0 seconds remaining, the Griffins trailed 81-77 after Bryson Kriby hit a corner 3-pointer for the Beavers. Carter Otwell went 1-of-2 from the line seven seconds later and Caden Clark put the Griffins down 81-80 after making his two-point basket.
Then, after a timeout called by Fontbonne, the Beavers tried to inbound the ball but Otwell jumped up with an opposing Beaver player to force the turnover with three seconds left. The Griffins tried to get one final shot off, but the horn sounded prior to it and Blackburn hung on for the one-point win.
Overall the Griffins (4-9; 2-4 SLIAC) shot 51.6 percent from the floor and pulled down 28 rebounds. Kris McCann got his second straight start and totaled a team-high 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Blackburn (6-7; 3-3 SLIAC), ended the afternoon with a 52.5 field goal percentage, 12 made 3-pointers, and 40 rebounds.
Hayes finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting, while Bryson Kriby and Duncan King contributed 17 and 11 points, respectively.
In the first, Jalen Wadlington's bucket put the Griffins down 19-15 with 13:24 to go. Three minutes later, Shawn Leonard hit his 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 27-25. However, over the next two minutes, the Beavers stretched its advantage out to nine (39-30) on Duncan King's 3-pointer.
Fontbonne trailed by one a couple of times later in the half, but the Beavers went 2-of-3 from the field and hit both of its free throws the final couple of minutes to take a 49-43 lead into the locker room.
Both offenses were on fire in the first with Fontbonne shooting 64.3 percent from the field, while the Beavers connected on 54.3 percent of its attempts, including draining seven 3-pointers.
In the second, the Griffins defense stepped up forcing 13 Blackburn turnovers. With 12:05 left in regulation, the Beavers were on top 67-57 on Will Pearce's made jumper.
Fontbonne responded with an 8-0 run capped off by Woodcock's layup to put them down 67-65 at 9:48. The team stayed within striking distance as the clock continued to tick away. Then, with 2:07 left, Caden Clark was fouled and he went to the line.
The Bethalto, Ill., native, hit both of his free throws to give Fontbonne a one-point lead. Blackburn answered with a 5-0 run and despite the Griffins hard fought effort in the final minute, the Beavers fended them off for the win.
The Griffins return to the court next Wednesday as they'll host the Eureka Red Devils. Tip-off at 7:30 p.m.
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