Saints Surrender Late Bucket, Fall to St. Ambrose | Schools
CLINTON, Iowa--For the third time this season, the Ashford University men's basketball team lined up against the Fighting Bees of St. Ambrose University on Saturday afternoon.After AU won convincingly in Davenport during the seasons' first matchup, and picked up a narrow four-point victory last month inside Kehl Arena, it was only fitting that the third contest of the season would come down to a final shot.
In front of a packed Lee Lohman Arena, SAU guard Nick Frazier tipped in a missed shot as the final horn sounded to sink the visitors by a final score of 69-67.
Sophomore guard DeAndre Lowery Jr. led the Saints with 20 points while East Moline, Ill.-native Damon Overton pumped in 16. Sophomore Brandon Weston added 13 points, including a trio of three-point buckets, as Ashford fell to 17-10 overall this season.
The visitors opened well, running out to an 8-2 lead on four consecutive buckets by Lowery, but allowed an 11-0 run by St. Ambrose to fall into a 12-8 hole with 13:40 to play in the first half.
From there, the contest would account for five more ties during the opening half before the Fighting Bees raced out on another 11-0 run to close the frame and took a 38-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Lowery had 12 points at halftime, but the real story was the hot shooting by St. Ambrose. The Bees sunk 71.4% (15-of-21) of their shot attempts from the field in the first half which included a four-of-six clip from beyond the three-point arc.
Following the break, the Saints appeared to be on a mission, scoring the first six points of the period to pull back within five, 38-33, with 18:31 showing on the clock.
However, the home team squirted back to a double-digit lead shortly following, and took its largest advantage of the contest, 49-36, with 14:05 to go. Two Weston treys and a three-pointer by Joe Lightfoot III powered an 11-2 AU run following that, but the Saints would struggle to pull any closer than four points until late in the second half.
A four-point play by Weston was followed up by a pair of free throws by Overton to make it a one-point game, 63-62, with 3:01 remaining. Then just two minutes later, Weston was fouled on a three-pointer and sunk all three free shots to pull the visitors back even, 65-65 with 1:09 to go.
Even with all of the momentum of the comeback, disaster struck just before the final horn.
With the game knotted up at 67-all, Frazier tipped back a missed jumper by SAU guard Justin Blondell to hand AU a 69-67 loss.
The Saints were outrebounded, 26-21, but turned the Fighting Bees over on 18 occasions. Those 18 turnovers turned into 28 AU points while SAU held a 36-22 advantage in paint points.
Overton grabbed a team-high five rebounds while registering a game-best five steals.
Frazier led all scorers with 21 points as the Bees improved to 9-16 overall this season.
AU returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 13, when the team travels to Chicago to battle the Eagles of Robert Morris University. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.