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Griffins Erase 14-Point First Half Deficit To Defeat MacMurray

Photo credit: Ann Schmerbauch
Photo credit: Ann Schmerbauch

ST. LOUIS, Mo.— Despite trailing by 14 at the end of the first half, the Fontbonne University men's basketball team overcame that deficit to earn an 82-76 win over MacMurray.

With 6:30 left in regulation, the Griffins were down 72-64 after Connor Vincent made his jumper. On the ensuing possession, Luke DeLine made his 3-pointer to put Fontbonne down by five.

Consecutive buckets from Jalen Wadlington and Caden Clark now had the Griffins down by one (72-71) with 5:37 remaining. Then, DeLine got fouled 18.0 seconds later and he drained both free throws to give Fontbonne its first lead of the game since it was 2-0.

The Griffins never looked back from there and fended off the Highlanders for the six-point win.

After shooting just 32.6 percent in the first half and getting to the line six times, the Griffins picked up its intensity in the second. In the final 20:00 minutes, they shot 16-of-29 (55.2 percent) from the field, went 16-of-28 from the line and forced 18 Highlanders turnovers.

Individually, DeLine contributed 19 points in the second to finish with a game-high 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Clark went 5-of-9 from the field to end with a career-high 15 points, while Carter Otwell added 11 of his own.

MacMurray (4-14; 1-10 SLIAC), finished with a 40.5 field goal percentage, totaled 24 offensive rebounds, and outrebounded Fontbonne overall, 55-47. However, MacMurray struggled at the charity-stripe going 9-of-23 (39.1 percent), and committed 26 turnovers overall.

Logan Dorethy led with a team-high 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Vincent concluded with 21 points before fouling out.

In the first, the Highlanders came out on fire offensively with a 21-6 lead at the 13:09 mark on Drew Burwinkel's layup. At 6:26, the Highlanders didn't let its foot off the gas with a 36-15 lead after Vincent made both of his free throws.

With 4:34 remaining, the Griffins were down 41-19, however, the team closed out the half on a 14-6 run to trim the lead down to 47-33.

The Highlanders were dominant on both ends of the floor in the first. They shot 47.6 percent from the field and outrebounded Fontbonne 28-22 on the glass.

In the second half, the Griffins hit its first five attempts to put the deficit at 51-43 after DeLine made his jumper at 16:53.

As the clock continued to tick away, the Highlanders lead started to get smaller by the minute and momentum had shifted towards Fontbonne.

Whenever the Griffins would get the lead to five points or under the Highlanders seemed to have an answer with a bucket on its following possession.

However, the Highlanders could only keep the Griffins at arms-length for so long. Once Fontbonne trailed by eight (72-64) and got the 3-pointer from DeLine, the team forced eight MacMurray turnovers in the final six minutes and closed out regulation on an 18-4 run for the win.

The team looks for its third straight conference win on the road on Saturday against Principia. Tip-off at 3 p.m.

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