Point Lookout, Mo. – The Saint Francis Cougars end the Oregon Tech Hustlin’ Owls men’s basketball season by a score of 100-92 at the NAIA National Tournament in Keeter Gymnasium.
The Hustlin’ Owls and the Cougars began the game with the two teams looking evenly matched. Over the first 10:00 minutes of play the score stayed relatively close with Tech taking a lead at 15-9, on a 11-3 run. Saint Francis rallied chipping away at the lead and brining the score level at 24-24.
The Cougars continued their offensive streak going on a 15-2 run of their own, jumping out in front with an 8-point lead. After giving up a few more buckets and the Cougar lead reaching 13-points, the Hustlin’ Owls buckled down on defense and started attacking the hoop, finding more of an offensive rhythm. Tech closed out the half on a 14-2 run, bringing the score to 48-46 in favor of the Cougars as the teams entered the mid-game break.
The action picked up right where it left off with the two evenly matched teams exchanging buckets. The lead was exchanged four times before the Cougars gained a slight advantage 5:00 minutes into the half. They would maintain the small advantage for the next 10:00 minutes of play, before a 12-4 run for Saint Francis pushed the lead to 14-points over the Owls. Despite efforts by Tech to close the gap, Saint Francis maintained the differential, closing out the game with a score of 100-92.
On the day Saint Francis had six players in double-digits scoring, with two of them earning double-doubles. They were led by Bryce Lienhoop going 9-11 for 24-points and 14 rebounds. Kyle Sovine added 15-points and 10 rebounds, while teammates Kegan Comer, Austin Compton, Evan Henry and Chandler White contributed 17, 15, 14, and 10 points each.
Oregon Tech was led by senior Joel Yellow Owl with 32-points, while freshman Mitchell Fink added 19-points and senior Bryan Beard contributed 14-points and 7 rebounds.
The win for the Cougars will see them advance to the second-round of the NAIA National Tournament. The loss brings the Hustlin’ Owls season to a close with an overall record of 24-10, their best finish since the ’11-’12 season.