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Golden Eagles Pull Away Late In Second Half Against Griffins

Photo credit: Ian Dunn
Photo credit: Ian Dunn

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Fontbonne University men's basketball team trailed by three points with 24.0 seconds left tonight, but the Spalding Golden Eagles fended off Fontbonne for the 68-62 win.

With 1:17 left, the Griffins were down 63-55. Then, Jared Woodcock banked in his layup with 44.0 seconds left. He went on to sink two more free throws later and now Fontbonne was down 63-59.

After two made free throws from Robert Bendingfield 10.0 seconds later, the Griffins got a clutch 3-pointer from Jalen Wadlington to make it 65-62. However, the Golden Eagles went 3-of-4 from the line the rest of the way to hang on for the win.

Fontbonne (5-10; 3-5 SLIAC), shot 38.3 percent from the floor and tied its season-low with two made 3-pointers. The team got it done on the glass with 48 rebounds, 17 of which came on the offensive side of the glass. They also went 14-of-24 (58.3 percent) from the charity stripe.

Individually, all 10 Griffins that appeared in the game scored at least two points. Wadlington and Woodcock tied with 10 points each. Ian Cochran tied his season-high with 10 boards, to go along with his seven points.

The Golden Eagles (7-9; 6-3 SLIAC), finished with a 36.2 field goal percentage, but went 23-of-26 from the free throw line, and forced 29 Griffin turnovers.

Dominique Ellis led with a game-high 16 points, while Marcus Montgomery (14), Brendan Holt (11), and Bendingfield (11), all reached double-figures.

In the first half, the Griffins took an 11-8 (12:32) lead on Caden Clark's made jumper. The two teams continued to trade lead changes over the next five minutes, but Gus Kleekamp's two made free throws gave them the 21-17 advantage at 7:31.

Down 21-19 at 6:27, the Golden Eagles rattled off a 10-0 run over the next six minutes to own the 29-21 advantage. Fontbonne, though closed out the final minute on a 4-0 run thanks to consecutive buckets from Shawn Leonard to trim the lead down to 29-25.

Fontbonne shot 38.5 percent from the floor and outrebounded Spalding 21-13, but committed 17 turnovers. The defense for the Griffins also stood tall as they held SU to a 32.3 field goal percentage and compiled 10 turnovers of its own.

In the second half, the Griffins grabbed a 45-43 lead after Anthony Jones' layup at 9:47. With 6:17 remaining in regulation, Alex Movila hit his layup to tie the game at 49-49. However, the Golden Eagles went on a 9-0 run in nearly two minutes to expand its lead out to 58-49.

Fontbonne answered with a 5-0 run and trimmed the lead down to 58-54 on Clark's layup with just over 3:03 on the clock. Despite the Griffins efforts, though Spalding was able to come away with the six-point win down the stretch.

The team looks for a bounce back win this Saturday on the road against Webster. Tip-off at 3 p.m.

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