Offensive Struggles Hamper Saints for Second Straight Outing | Schools
CLINTON, Iowa--For the second time in three days, the Ashford University men's basketball team suffered a setback. After losing at UW-Stout on Saturday, the Saints were downed on Monday night inside the Charles S. Johnson Wellness Center by Grand View University, 56-47. Senior forward Vesteinn Sveinsson scored a game-high 18 points for the Saints while East St. Louis, Ill.-native Brandon Weston added ten.
Another poor shooting night contributed to AU's second consecutive defeat as the Saints shot just 17-of-55 (30.9%) from the floor and earned just six free throw attempts on the night.
"We knew it was going to be another grind-it-out type of game," Head Coach Oliver Drake said following the matchup. "All the credit goes to Grand View, they knocked down their shots and we didn't come out prepared or ready to play tonight. We were way too stagnant on offense and didn't make the moves to take advantage of them doubling our post play."
The first half saw five lead changes with neither team gaining more than a four point lead in the low-scoring opening twenty minutes of play. However, near the end of the half, GVU erased a four-point Ashford lead, 18-14, with the start of an 11-0 run as the Vikings held a 21-18 advantage heading into the locker room at halftime.
Sveinsson and Weston combined for 15 of AU's 18 first-half points, a period which saw the Saints connect on just 7-of-23 (30.4%) attempts from the floor.
Grand View capped off the 11-0 rush with the final four points coming immediately after the halftime break to make it a 25-18 tilt with 19:15 to go.
A pair of back-to-back three pointers by DeAndre Lowery Jr. and Weston cut the home team's advantage to three, 27-24, with 16:54 to play before both teams went silent from the floor for nearly three minutes.
"When we did what we were supposed to do, we made a run back at them," Drake added. "The bottom line is that we have to make shots, especially against a good defensive team like Grand View. Shooting 30% isn't going to beat anybody; we need to bury open looks."
When the offenses started rolling again, it was Grand View holding on to a slim lead until AU senior Joseph Lightfoot III connected on a three-point bucket to hand the visitors a 37-36 lead with 7:36 showing on the clock in the second half.
From there, the teams traded buckets until GVU found itself a 48-42 lead with 2:22 to go in regulation. Ashford had chances in the waning moments, but the Saints missed out on their next three opportunities from the field and fell to the Vikings, 56-47.
Freshman Joshua Little grabbed a team-high eight rebounds while Lowery dished out five of AU's ten assists.
Grand View forward Kody Ingle led the Vikings with 15 points thanks to a perfect six-of-six effort from the charity stripe.
With the loss, Ashford falls to 16-8 overall while Grand View improves to 8-11 this season.
The Saints return home this Friday night, Feb. 1, when they welcome the Eagles of Robert Morris University to Kehl Arena in Clinton. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.