CINCINNATI, Ohio-- The Lions find themselves in a three-way tie atop the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings, following a 66-61 loss to Rose-Hulman on Wednesday night.
The Lions are now tied with with Rose-Hulman and defending HCAC champion Hanover atop the standings, each teams HCAC record stands at 9-2.
It was a milestone evening inside the Harrington Center, as Andrew Finley (Cincinnati, OH/Walnut Hills) scored his 1000th point in Lions uniform. Finley came into the game only 10 points away from becoming the fourth member of the 1000 point club at The Mount. It took until late in the second half for him to get the basket to put him over the hump, and it came in a big way. Finley drove the lane in a tight game with 3:47 to play and layed the ball off the glass to cement himself as one of the best scorers in Mount Basketball history.
The action in this game was as tight as you might have expected from two of the top teams in the Heartland. Neither team led by more than 7-points at anytime, there were 8-ties and 11-lead changes throughout the game. The Lions who pride themselves on the defensive end, and led the HCAC in field goal percentage defense coming into the game allowed the Fightin' Engineers to shoot 52 percent for the game. While only making 39 percent of their own shots.
The games pivotal stretch came late in the second half, with 10:32 on the clock a Jordan Henry (Lexington, KY/Bryan Station) 3-pointer gave the Lions their largest lead of the game at 53-48. Rose-Hulman followed that with a quick 7-0 run to take the lead right back. A pair of Erik Edwards (Cincinnati, OH/Roger Bacon) free-throws tied the score again at 55 a piece. The teams would then combine to go on a more than 3-minute scoring drought.
The game would come down to the final seconds, the Lions had the ball down 64-61 with under 30 seconds to play. The ran an outstanding play to free up Finley for a wide-open three point shot to tie the game. It just was not meant to be, the ball felt let it was half way in before it bounced back out. After a couple of Rose-Hulman free throws the final score would settle at 66-61.
Four Lions were in double figures in the game Henry led the way with 15 points, Edwards added 10 and narrowly missed a double-double as he pulled down a team-high 9 rebounds. Finley scored 11 points, and Jake Cropper (Georgetown, OH/Georgetown) added 13 to go along with 3 steals and 3 rebounds.
The Lions will take to the court again Saturday, as they travel to N. Manchester, Indiana to take on the Spartans of Manchester. The game is scheduled for a 3:00 PM tip-off, tune into MSJsports.com for all your Mount Basketball coverage.