CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Mount St. Joseph Univeristy men's basketball team welcomed the Yellow Jackets of Defiance College to the Harrington Center for another Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup. The Lions have defeated the Yellow Jackets in five of six previous matches so this was key to improve their conference record. The Lions were forced to double overtime by consistent defense from Defiance but were able to pull out the victory by a slim margin. Devin Young (Crestwood, KY / South Oldham) hit the go ahead three pointer and Brady Thomas (Grove City, OH / Bishop Ready) made a floater to put the Yellow Jackets away, ending with a score of 80-74.
The Lions started the first half red hot from the three point line and were able to build an 18-8 lead in the first five minutes of the game. The Lions continued to build their lead despite a small run by Defiance halfway through the half. When the clock ran out the Lions held a strong 38-25 lead over Defiance.
Young led the Lions on offense, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the first half. Young was 4-6 from the three point line while the team shot 53% from behind the arc.
Defiance started to pick up their defense in the second half and began to chip away at the Lions lead. With ten minute remaining the Yellow Jackets tied the score and took their first lead two minutes later. The Lions were able to take the lead back with two minutes remaining but a Defiance free throw tied match in the final minute. The Mount had an opportunity to win the match on a lob pass from Jake Cropper (Georgetown, OH / Georgetown) to Young with 0.4 seconds remaining but the shot missed short, leading to overtime.
Both teams traded baskets in the first overtime period but with 17 seconds left Cropper went to the free throw line and tied the game at 68. Defiance had another opportunity to take the lead but couldn't capitalize, leading to a second overtime. The Lions would control the tempo in the first half and Young's three pointer in in the final minute put the Lions up 76-74. Thomas hit a floater with 20 seconds left and after another broken Defiance play the Lions were able to come out with the 80-74 victory.
Cropper led the team all around the court, earning 22 points, six points, and eight rebounds. Three other Mount starters scored double figures starting with Young at 20 points, Thomas adding 16 points, and Mitch Moorehead (Cincinnati, OH / Elder) pitched in 12 points.
The Lions (6-9, 4-4 HCAC) will travel to Hanover College, Wednesday January 16th, looking to continue their win streak. Continue to check MSJSports.com for more updates on the Lions 2019 season.