DEFIANCE, Ohio-- The Mount St. Joseph men's basketball team put their undefeated Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference record on the line as traveled to Defiance, Ohio on Saturday to take on the Yellow Jackets. They would continue their recent run of stifling defense, holding Defiance to 37.9 percent shooting from the field. The Mount came away with their fifth consecutive win, 79-64.
The Lions were led in the game by Senior guard Andrew Finley (Cincinnati, OH/Walnut Hills) who had a team-high 19 points, on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, knocking down four three-pointers. Adam Goetz (Erlanger, KY/St. Henry) pitched in 18 points of his own, while only playing 19 minutes. Goetz buried a career-high six three pointers, on only seven attempts.
The Lions controlled this one from the opening tip-off. They opened the game on a 14-0 run and would never trail in the contest. Defiance would fight to get back into the game, but the Lion offense could not be tamed in this one. At the 5:31 mark of the first half the Lions extended their lead to 38-14 their largest of the first half, on a Tyler Manaugh (Madison, IN/Madison) free-throw. They would take a 44-25 lead in the halftime intermission. Finley led the way in the first half scoring 16 of his 19 in the opening frame.
After shooting just 29 percent from the field in the first half the Yellow Jackets found some offensive rhythm in the second 20 minutes. They were able to shoot a much better 45 percent in the second half. The Lions though answered the call especially from three-point range. The Lions shot 69 percent from behind the arc in the second half making 9-of-13 attempts. Goetz was outstanding from deep in the second half drilling four three-pointers. The Lions only scored 10 points over the games final 10 minutes of action, but were able to hold off a late Defiance surge to secure the 79-64 win.
Cameron Stewart (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) played 27 big minutes off the bench for the Lions. He scored 12 points, drilling three shots from behind the arc. Jake Cropper (Georgetown, OH/Georgetown) led the Lions on the boards with eight rebounds.
With the win the Lions move to 8-0 in HCAC play this season, holding a full two game lead in the standings. Setting up a huge showdown on Wednesday against the defending HCAC champs Hanover College. The Lions will host the Panthers inside the Harrington Center on the campus of Mount St. Joseph, the game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:30 PM. Come out and support your Lions as they try to continue this outstanding run!