ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. — Third-ranked University of Saint Francis did some serious digging in the second half to secure a 75-67 win at Rochester College on Tuesday night.
The Cougars trailed by eight, 40-32, after the first 20 minutes. Break out the big shovels. USF outscored the Warriors 43-27 in the final 20 minutes to earn a sweep against RC this season by digging out of that eight-point hole. USF edged RC 74-73 just last Tuesday at Hutzell Athletic Center.
“I thought we did a good job of mixing up our defenses in the second half and changing up the flow of the game,” USF Head Coach Chad LaCross asserted after USF’s fourth consecutive win. “Our guys did a great job of moving the ball and making open shots.”
No one Cougar led USF’s 43-point second half. Balance was the key with eight players scoring for USF. Connor Lautzenheiser led USF scoring with nine second-half points. Bryce Lienhoop and Austin Compton scored seven points apiece, Derek Hinen scored six, Hunter Hollowell five, Chandler White four, Stephen Turner two and Evan Henry one.
Lienhoop put USF ahead for good scoring inside for a 53-51 lead breaking the fourth and final tie of the game with 9:50 to play in the game. The Warriors got back within a point on a Kash Blackwell three-point play with 9:23 to play 55-54, but USF used an 11-3 surge to take control. Compton buried a 3-pointer from the left wing in front of the USF bench opening up a 66-57 lead with 5:44 to play.
RC got as close as five points three times in the time remaining, but no closer than 70-65 with 1:28 to play in a game that had four ties and five lead changes.
The Cougars opened up an eight point lead, 28-20, in the first half, but RC bounced back with an 18-4 offensive that gave the Warriors that eight-point lead at halftime.
Lautzenheiser led USF scoring with 20 points, a season high for the sophomore guard. White and Hinen finished with 13 points apiece and Hunter came off the bench to score 10 points. Lienhoop led USF rebounding with seven