Location: Stauffer-Wolfe Arena (North Manchester, IN)
The Lions traveled to Manchester on Saturday looking keep pace atop the HCAC standings against the Spartans. Trading the lead early and often, both teams looked prepared for today's matchup. Shooting 15-25(60%) the Mount's offense was clicking and gave them the lead going into halftime at 37-34. After a quick layup, the Lions established their largest lead of the game of 5 early in the second half. Ball movement was a key factor for the Lions, assisting on 20 baskets for the game, resulting in a final score of 74-73.
How it Happened:
Senior forward Erik Edwards (Cincinnati, OH/Roger Bacon) came into the game only needing 10 points to surpass 1000 career points. Nine minutes into the game, Edwards became the fifth Lion in history and the second this week to acheive milestone and tied the game as well, at 14-14. The score remained close with both teams trading the lead and Edwards finishing the second half with a layup bringing the half score to 37-34.
The Lions owned the paint with 38 points compared to the Spartans 30 thanks to a dominant performance by Edwards. Andrew Finley (Cincinnati, OH/Walnut Hills) played an impactful second half with 10 points and 4 assists. The teams continued to trade leads deep into the second half, with the Spartans extending their lead to 7 with only minutes to go. The Lions would close the game on a 12-7 run to get themselves within two points. With only seconds remaining, the Spartans maintained that two-point lead, until guard Jordan Henry (Lexington, KY/Bryan Station) nailed a clutch three-pointer with 9 seconds left in regulation. The Spartans got two looks at the basket but were unable to score with their final possession resulting in the final score 0f 74-73.
Edwards played a phenomenal game finishing with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists and a block. Finley the other Lion to eclipse the 1000 point plateau this week, made an impact at the point with 20 points and 6 assists. Guard Henry hit double digits as well with 10 going 4-10 from the field including the game-winning three pointer.
Finishing up the month of January, the Lions (13-6, 10-2HCAC) will face the Bluffton Beavers (8-11, 5-7HCAC) on Wednesday. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m and make sure to tune into MSJsports.com for all your Lions updates.