Saint Francis men topple top-ranked IWU 85-71

by | Dec 5, 2018 | Headlines, RRSN News | 0 comments

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — This time it was unranked University of Saint Francis doing the embarrassing in an 85-71 win over No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan University on Tuesday night.

That’s right, the Cougars won by 14, their largest winning margin ever against a top-ranked team.

“We were embarrassed at Marian on Saturday,” Austin ‘David’ Compton said amidst jubilant USF fans. The Knights won 92-64.

“We had to prove to ourselves and the rest of the league that we are not as bad as we were on Saturday.”

The Cougars made believers out of the Wildcats, who entered the game with an eight-game winning streak and looking to improve to 4-0 in Crossroads League action.

Compton led the Goliath takedown by scoring 23 points, 19 in the second half at crucial times when the Wildcats flirted with an epic comeback. One of the most memorable ‘sling shots’ was when Compton drilled a 3-pointer off an inbounds pass from Connor Lautzenheiser as the shot clock buzzer sounded. His shot from the right corner just beating the buzzer gave the Cougars a 76-60 lead with 3:37 to play in the second half.

“I didn’t have any time to think about it, I just had to launch,” and his high arching rainmaker was on target like a stone from David’s slingshot in the Bible. “It felt good and was as good as drinking a Red Bull because it felt like we fed off that energy the rest of the game. I’m glad I could contribute. This was huge.”

While Compton connected on 2-of-3 3-pointers and dished out a team-leading five assists, Hunter Hollowell was on target with his slingshot as well. He nailed 5-of-6 shots from 3-point range for the game and racked up 19 points, 11 in the first half.

“Austin had that look in the second half, so his play is no surprise,” USF Head Coach Chad LaCross emphasized. “He starts slashin’ and scoring or dishing and he gets in a special zone. We saw that a lot tonight, especially in the second half.”

Lautzenheiser added 16 points and David Miller came off the bench to score 10 points for the win, which was the 100th in conference play for LaCross.

Chandler White gave USF the lead for good slipping through the lane for an underhanded-fingerroll layup at 15:57 in the first half for a 9-7 edge. USF led the rest of the way to snap an eight-game losing streak to IWU.

USF led 36-27 at halftime and led by double digits through most of the second half. Lautzenheiser hit the second of two free throws for a 10-point lead, 47-37 with 15:35 to play and IWU never got the deficit lower than 11 the rest of the way.

“A lot of our offense was the result of our defense,” LaCross observed. Hollowell agreed.

“We had to play better defense so we just focused on that and it made a difference,” Hollowell revealed. “After going 0-for at Marian, hitting a 3-pointer was big for my confidence. We fed off each other starting with our defense.”

USF connected on 16-of-28 shots in the second half to shoot .571 and outscored IWU 49-44 in the final 20 minutes. After shooting .345 in the first half, IWU shot .514 (19 for 37) in the second half. USF outrebounded IWU by eight (39-31). White and Lautzenheiser grabbed five rebounds apiece to supplement White’s glass work.

USF’s win snapped a four-game losing streak to NAIA No. 1 teams — IWU twice and Bethel twice. USF improve to 5-6 against No. 1 teams and the 14-point margin was a USF record.

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