HOLLAND, Mich. - The Mount St. Joseph men's basketball team came away with a split in the second annual Great Lakes Invitational hosted by Hope College at DeVos Field House in Holland, Michigan. This was the second year in a row that the Lions and Dutchmen each participated in the event, although they did not play each other last year at Marietta. The programs had only squared off one time prior to this game, that was in the 2015 NCAA tournament, a game which Hope won.
Mount St. Joseph (3-7, 1-3 HCAC) only held the lead for less than two minutes, but they did hold the lead when it counted most, as the final buzzer sounded.
The game was back-and-forth through the early portion of the first half. The game was tied at eight at the 15:13 mark, Hope would proceed to go on an extended 26-14 run. They would take their largest lead of the game with only 2:43 to go in the half. The Lions though closed the half with a 9-0 run of their own to get back into the game and only go into the break down three.
The second half was tight throughout, though Hope maintained the lead most of the way. They never stretched their lead to more than four at any point in the second half. With 2:58 to go Moorhead who did yeomans work in the paint guarding the much bigger Dutchmen, committed his 5th foul. Toby Carrigan looked down the bench and decided to replace his 6-6 center, with 5-6 guard Cedric Woods (Fairfield, Ohio/Fairfield). And the move immediately paid dividends, as Woods scored the next eight Lions points.
The score was tied at 62, with 36 seconds remaining on the clock and Hope in possession of the ball looking for a late score to take the lead. As the Dutchmen looked to take the lead, Shaun Sullivan (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) who scored a team-high 18 points, made his biggest play of the night. He captured a loose ball, for a steal getting the Lions one more shot at getting the win in regulation. The Lions inbounded the ball with 6.6 seconds on the clock, and Cropper knived toward the basket and was fouled with only 3.1 left on the clock. He stepped to the free-throw line and split a pair, giving the Lions a 63-62 lead.
Hope inbounded the ball with 3.1 on the clock, looking to get a heave at the basket. The Lions defense again stood tall, as Hope was unable even get a shot off.
Jake Cropper was named to the Great Lakes Invitational All-Tournament team for his performance.
The Lions will head across the Ohio River to take on Thomas More (6-4) in the Bridge City Shootout. This will be the first time that Coach Carrigan squares off with his former long-time assitant, Thomas More head coach Justin Ray. Tune into MSJsports.com for all of your live game coverage.