GOSHEN, Ind. — University of Saint Francis senior Bryce Lienhoop started a new statistical club for the Cougars in their 87-74 win at Goshen College on Saturday.
The Columbus, Ind., native tracked down nine rebounds reaching 1,001 career rebounds to
become the first Cougar to reach 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for a career. Lienhoop scored 28 points while Chandler White delivered a double-double as USF outscored the Maple Leafs 52-39 in the second half. White had forged a tie at 35 when he grabbed a rebound, took two dribbles to the 3-point line, whirled and drilled the game-tying 3 at the buzzer.
Lienhoop’s 28 points moved him up to 1,715 for his career making him just the seventh to reach the 1,700 points plateau. He grabbed his 1,000th rebound with 5:55 to play in the second half after a Billy Geschke missed shot for Goshen.
“It was special and Bryce got a huge cheer when we announced it on the bus getting ready to come back to Fort Wayne,” USF Head Coach Chad LaCross said. “We kept goin’ to Bryce and he kept finishing. You always get max effort from Bryce and it is really a special accomplishment.”
LaCross should know. He scored 2,636 points and collected 1,167 rebounds in a Hall of Fame career at then Tri-State University and is still the ONLY man in that club at TSU (now Trine).
The USF win protected the one-game lead the Cougars hold at the top of the CL standings with four games to play.
Evan Henry connected on a pull-up jumper to tie the game for the seventh and final time at 44 with 16:01 to play after a Connor Lautzenheiser steal in the second half. Then after at Geschke miss and Lienhoop rebound, White scored on a fastbreak to give the third-ranked Cougars the lead for good, 46-44, with 15;35 to play. GC turned the ball over on its next possession and Lienhoop slipped inside to score for a 48-44 USF lead at 15:01. GC cut the USF lead to three, 64-61, but the Cougars went on an 11-2 run opening up a 75-64 lead on two Stephen Turner free throws at 4:39.
The Maple Leafs got back within six twice before USF took charge with an 8-0 run for a 14-point lead, 85-71, with 53 seconds to play on two White free throws.
After shooting 43 percent in the first half, USF warmed up in the final 20 minutes hitting on 16-of-26 shots for 62 percent shooting. The Cougars hit on 20 of 27 free throws (74 percent) to help offset 0-for-5 shooting from 3-point range.
“We made a few changes defensively in the second half keeping (Devin) Heath-Granger to one side of the floor and hedging ball screens,” LaCross revealed. “When Chandler plays above the rim like he did today, we’re a much better team.”