LOCATION: Karl H. Weaner Center (Defiance, Ohio)
Mount St. Joseph defeated Transylvania in the semi-finals of the HCAC tournament to move onto the finals, by a score of 71-65. This will be the Lions first time playing in the conference finals, with an NCAA tournament bid on the line.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions came out of the gate a bit sluggish, shooting just 34 percent in the first half. Mount St. Joseph even trailed by as many as 8 in the half. They closed the half on a 12-4 run that would see the game knotted at 25 at intermission.
The second half of the game is where the game got really interesting. The Lions opened the half on a 15-1 run to rock the Pioneers and give themselves a 14 point cushion. The Pioneers though were not done, with 13:31 to play they began to chip into the lead. It was the unbelievable three point shooting of Alex Jones that led the comeback, he scored 25 second half points on 5-7 shooting from 3-point range. For the Lions it was a great individual run by Senior Femi Thompson that helped right the ship, who at one point scored 11 consecutive points. The outcome was still very much in doubt as the Lions led by only 2 with under a minute to play. Transylvania had the ball down 2 with 17 seconds, the Lions were able to get a turnover and make all of their free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
The Lions were led offensively by Travis Combs who poured in 21 points, and grabbed 7 rebounds. Thompson was huge with 17 points (15 in the second half), 6 boards and 5 assists. Joel Scudder had a well rounded game for the Lions, with 12 points, and had the game high in both rebounds and assists with 8 and 6 respectively.
The Lions will play Rose-Hulman Sunday, for the chance to goto the NCAA tournament. The game is scheduled to tip at 2:00 p.m.