MARIETTA, Ohio- The Mount St. Joseph men's basketball team traveled to Marietta College to take part in the inaugural Great Lakes Invitational. They would be joined in the field by host school Marietta College, Hope College, Wittenberg University, Birmingham-Southern College, Dickinson College, St. Johns Fisher College and the University of St. Thomas. The Lions would take part in the first game of the tournament, playing Wittenberg to get the games underway.
The Mount would struggle early to defend the post players of Wittenberg. The Tigers opened by scoring six straight points in the paint, utilizing their size advantage. The Lions would eventually find a way to fight the size of Wittenberg. They did so by pressuring the perimeter more, making the entry passes much more difficult. It was a back and forth first half, though Wittenberg led for the first 10:00 of the game. The Lions took their first lead of the contest at 23-22 on an Erik Edwards (Cincinnati, OH/Roger Bacon) layup. Wittenberg would regain the lead quickly there after and would not relinquish it for the rest of the first half. Adam Goetz (Erlanger, KY/St. Henry) led a balanced offensive attack for The Mount in the first half with eight points. They would go into the halftime break trailing 36-33.
The offenses would get off to a slow start in the second 20 minutes. There were only two made field goals over the first three-plus minutes of play. Over the next few minutes the Lions kept the game extremely close tying the score on three separate occasions. They were finally able to get over the hump and take the lead again with 12:57 to go in the game. They did so on a Jordan Henry (Lexington, KY/Bryan Station) layup. Thats when the pivotal point of the game started. Over the next four-plus minutes the Lions sent Wittenberg to the free-throw line seven times. Wittenberg took full advantage of the free-throws making all seven. All told Wittenberg went to the line 20 times in the second half, making 15 of those attempts. They would go on to win a very hard fought contest 78-74 to get the Great Lakes Invitational underway.
Mount St. Joseph was led offensively by Goetz who scored 19 points, with 3 assists and 3 rebounds. Three other Lions were in double figures, Tyler Manaugh (Madison, IN/Madison), Conner Myslowski (Dayton, OH/West Carrolton) and Henry.
The Lions will take to the court again tomorrow, as they square of with Dickinson on day 2 of the Great Lakes Invitational.