12/15/2013 – The men's basketball team lost another close contest as they dropped a home game to Northwestern Ohio 78-76. The victory improved the Racers record to 8-4 overall and to 5-2 in the WHAC, while the Saints fell to 3-4 in league play and to 4-7 overall. Aquinas currently resides in a tie for seventh place in the WHAC standings.
The Saints hit their first four field goals to jump out to an early 13-3 lead. The hot start was quickly negated by a surge over the next eight minutes by the Racers. A 20-10 push by Northwestern Ohio tied the game at 23 with 8:18 remaining in the half. The two teams would exchange baskets the rest of the way with the Saints nursing a 41-38 lead at the half. Anthony Williams and Kolin Kazen both scored eight points in the first twenty minutes to pace the Saints.
The halftime advantage was short lived as the Saints went without a field goal for the first 8:18 of the second half. Despite the drought, the Saints found themselves trailing by only five after the Jake Bullock basket with 11:42 to play. The Racers pushed the lead to twelve as they outscored the Saints 18-11 heading into the games final five minutes.
The tide slowly turned as they games final minutes ticked away. The Saints turned up the defense and whittled the lead down to two (75-73) on a Brett Pfahler three-point make with :13 to play. A pair of free throw makes by the Racers inched the lead back to four. Jake Bullock, who scored a career high 26 points, capped his day by adding a clutch three with four seconds to play to bring the Saints within one. A split at the line by UNOH's Johnny Elliot continued to give the Saints life. A desperation prayer by Bullock could not be answered as the Saints would fall 78-76.
Bullock's finished the game converting 7-of-8 field goals and all ten of his free throw attempts. The Saints also received strong guard play from Ryan Schall, Pfahler and Williams who combined to score 30 points.
The Saints will not step out of the conference to host Grace Bible (5-7) on Wednesday at the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center at 7:30 p.m.