The McKendree University men’s basketball team nearly overcame a 16-point, first-half deficit to visiting Quincy University on Thursday before being edged in the final seconds by the Hawks, 79-77.
Joseph Tagarelli hit a turnaround jumper in the lane with 1.5 seconds remaining to break a 77-77 deadlock and send Quincy to its 13th-consecutive victory. McKendree had tied the game just moments earlier when senior guard David Franklin drove the lane to hit a layup, was fouled and made the ensuing free throw with 15.6 seconds left.
The loss sends McKendree to 6-5 overall and 0-3 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.
Senior guard Michael Jackson netted a team-leading 18 points for McKendree, which included 11 in the first half. Franklin and freshman center Nolan Gerling each posted a double-double for the Bearcats. Franklin finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds to go along with a team-best three assists. Gerling scored all 10 of his points in the second half while pulling down 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Nate Michael also reached double figures in the scoring column with 17 points for McKendree.
Tagarelli poured in a game-high 27 points and added 12 rebounds to lead Quincy (14-1, 4-0 GLVC). McGaughey chipped in with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Von Washington III connected for 12 points. Herm Senor II flirted with a triple-double before closing the night with nine points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Hawks.
The Bearcats will close out a season-long eight-game home stand Saturday afternoon when Truman State University visits the Statham Center. Tipoff is at 3:30 p.m.
Eastern Kentucky 78, SIUE 61
Also at Richmond, Ky., the SIUE men’s basketball team dropped to 0-2 in Ohio Valley Conference play, falling 78-61 on the road at Eastern Kentucky on Thursday.
The Cougars fell to 5-11 overall. Eastern Kentucky evened its league record at 1-1. The Colonels are 8-9 overall.
SIUE built an eight-point advantage, leading 26-18 after a pair of free throws from Keenan Simmons with 9:59 to play in the first half. The Cougars knocked down nine of their first 15 attempts from the field (60 percent), but as it turned out a Tre Harris three-pointer with 10:36 to play before halftime was the last shot the Cougars would hit from the field until after the break.
SIUE missed its final 15 attempts in the first half, and EKU took a 37-30 lead into halftime.
“They went to a zone and it froze us,” SIUE coach Jon Harris said. “We quit moving the ball. We shot a lot of jump shots late in the first half and let them close the gap. We played a little too passive.”
The Cougars missed their first four shots in the second half, collected only seven field goals for the second half and finished the game 29.6 percent (16-54) from the field.
Eastern Kentucky shot 57.7 percent (15-26) in the first half and finished the game at 50.9 percent (29-57). The Colonels got to the basket often, finishing with 54 points in the paint.
“I’m very disappointed honestly,” Harris said. “That’s something we talked about and worked on in practice leading up to this game. You can’t give up that many points in the paint on the road and find a way to win.”
The Colonels finished the game 0-15 from the three-point range.
“If you had told me that Eastern Kentucky wouldn’t make a three and we’d lose by 17, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
The Colonels also won the battle of the boards, finishing the game with a 42-33 rebounding edge. After tying a season low with eight turnovers in its last game, SIUE turned the ball over just 10 times against EKU.
“We did a better job not turning the ball over, but what’s alarming is that two games in a row we’ve been outrebounded between seven or nine,” Harris added. “We have to do a better scratching and clawing and scrapping for loose rebounds.”
Tre Harris led SIUE with 21 points. He was 7-18 shooting and hit four three-pointers. Burak Eslik was the only other Cougar in double figures. He scored 13 points, including 11 in the first half.
Freshman Asante Gist scored a career-high 25 points to lead EKU. He was 6-12 from the field and 13-14 from the free throw line. Nick Mayo added 16 points.
“We’ve struggled all year containing the basketball,” Harris said. “That’s something we have to focus on. It’s not lack of physical ability. It’s mental concentration more than anything.”
SIUE stays on the road to play at Morehead State on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is at 3:15 p.m.