Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Saints Hang On to Beat Kent State-Tuscarawas 96-95 in Overtime in First Day of Connor Classic

Saints Hang On to Beat Kent State-Tuscarawas 96-95 in Overtime in First Day of Connor Classic

(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) - The Thomas More University men's basketball team won its second straight overtime game to remain undefeated on Friday night (November 22, 2019), outlasting Kent State University-Tuscarawas 96-95 on the first day of the Coach Connor Classic at the Connor Convocation Center.

  • Luke Rudy (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) scored Thomas More's first nine points, hitting three three-pointers in the first four minutes of the game as the Saints built a 9-5 lead.
  • Keegan Saben (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) scored five points in 20 seconds when he knocked down a three-pointer, then stole the ball for a fast break layup to put Thomas More up 17-7 with 15:15 left in the half.
  • Saben later scored on a put back with 9:03 remaining in the half to give the Saints a 28-17 lead, their largest of the half.
  • Kent State-Tuscarawas went on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 32-32 with 3:54 left in the half when Reid Jolly (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County) put the Saints back on top with a layup.
  • The Golden Eagles led late in the half until a pair of Max Knisley (Washington Court House, Ohio/Washington) free throws gave the Saints a 40-39 lead with 1:05 left.
  • Jolly scored on an offensive rebound with 30 seconds remaining to send Thomas More into halftime with a 42-39 lead.
  • Jolly led the Saints with 11 first-half points on 4-5 shooting.
  • Thomas More shot 14-26 (53.8%) from the field and 6-14 (42.9%) from three-point range in the first half, and a perfect 8-8 on free throws.

  • Saben scored five straight points early in the second half, hitting a three-pointer and scoring a layup on consecutive possessions as the Saints' lead grew to 58-50 with 14:15 left in the second half.
  • A Tyrice Walker (Hamilton, Ohio/Summit Country Day) layup with 9:57 put the Saints up 68-50, giving Thomas More the largest lead of the game for either team at 18.
  • Ryan Batte (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) converted a three-point play with 4:40 to go to give the Saints an 80-68 lead.
  • The Golden Eagles outscored Thomas More 15-5 over the next 4:05, cutting the score to 85-83 in favor of the Saints with 35 seconds remaining.
  • After a pair of Knisley free throws extended the lead to 87-83, the Golden Eagles responded with a quick layup to make the score 87-85 with 20 seconds left.
  • Saben was fouled with 18 seconds to go, but after he missed both free throws, Kent State-Tuscarawas tied the game with a layup with 10 seconds left.
  • Thomas More had two opportunities to win the game in the final possession, but Rudy and Batte both missed contested shots in the final seconds before the buzzer sounded.
  • Saben scored 17 points in the half.
  • The Saints shot 15-24 (62.5%) from the field and 3-6 (50.0%) from three-point range but only made 12-20 (60.0%) free throws in the second half.

  • Jolly split a pair of free throws on the Saints' first possession of overtime to give Thomas More an 88-87 lead with 4:47 remaining.
  • After a Golden Eagles layup, Jolly responded with a basket in the paint to put Thomas More on top 90-89 with 4:00 left.
  • The Saints went cold for the next three minutes, and Kent State-Tuscarawas scored four straight points until Garren Bertsch (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County) made a put-back layup with 59 seconds left to cut the Golden Eagles' lead to 93-92.
  • Kent State-Tuscarawas scored in the paint with 30 seconds left, and Bertsch responded with a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 95-94 with 19 seconds left in the game.
  • Saben stole the ball seconds later and drew a foul, this time hitting both free throws to give the Saints a 96-95 lead, which Thomas More's defense held in the final seconds.

  • Thomas More improved to 7-0 with the win and 2-0 in overtime while the Golden Eagles fell to 2-4.
  • The Saints made 31-54 field goal attempts (57.4%) and 9-22 three-pointers (40.9%), while Kent State-Tuscarawas shot 40-78 from the field (51.3%) and 10-24 from three-point range (41.7%).
  • Thomas More outrebounded the Golden Eagles 35-29, but Kent State-Tuscarawas had 12 offensive rebounds and a 17-7 advantage in second chance points.
  • Saben led the Saints with 28 points on 10-12 shooting and made the game-winning free throws in overtime.
  • Jolly scored 15 points and added seven rebounds for Thomas More.
  • Rudy finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
  • Bertsch scored eight points, including four points in the final minute of overtime.
  • Batte had eight points and led the Saints with four assists.
  • Knisley finished with eight points and six rebounds.

  • Thomas More will return to the court tomorrow afternoon (November 23) for the second day of the Coach Connor Classic. They will face the University of Akron-Wayne at 2 p.m. at the Connor Convocation Center.