MARIETTA, Ohio - The Mount St. Joseph University men's basketball team is traveling east this weekend to take part in the BSN Sports Marietta Shrine Tournament. The Lions are joined in the tournament by the La Roche, Eastern Mennonite, and the host team Marietta. In game one the Lions would square off with the La Roche Redhawks, who came into the game with lofty expectations for the 2019-20 season. They were the preseason favorites in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, with the leagues preseason player of the year.
The Lions came into the game looking to get their first win of the 2019-20 season against an extremely tough opponent. The game would be a nail-biter, coming down to the final seconds of action. The teams exchanged the lead multiple times throughout the first half, with neither side able to gain much of an advantage. The Lions were led in the first half by Devin Young (Crestwood, Ky./South Oldham) who scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the first half, drilling three shots from behind the arc. They were happy to get Brady Thomas (Grove City, Ohio/Bishop Ready) back from injury in this one. He would get off to a slow start offensively, but contributed in other ways during the first half. He was able to pull in two rebounds, dish out three assists and register two steals all in the first half.
Coming out of the half-time break, the Mount trailed the Redhawks 36-24. The Lions regained the lead with a quick 9-0 run over the opening 1:42 of the second half. Tanner Clos (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell Co.) drilled a pair of three's during the run, with Young hitting the third. It was the start of a big second half for Clos, who had 16 points all of which came during the second 20 minutes. With the quick run the Lions pushed ahead and would remain ahead for the entire half. They were unable to push their lead out passed seven points, but everytime La Roche made a run the Lions answered. La Roche cut the Lions lead to just one point with just 24 seconds remaining on the clock. A pair of Thomas free-throws put the Lions back ahead by three with 7 seconds to go. A last second heave from La Roche would come close to tying the game, but the Lions escaped with the win.
Young, Clos and Thomas were the only Lions to reach double-figures in scoring, with 21,16 and 15 respectively. Clos led the team with 6 rebounds, Peyton Meadors (McCordsville, Ind./Mount Vernon) added nine points and Joel Day (Cold Springs, Ky./Campbell Co.) continued his outstanding ball control with four assists and zero turnovers.
With the win the Lions (1-2, 0-0 HCAC) will square off with the host of the tournament the 18th ranked Pioneers of Marietta College (1-0, 0-0 OAC). The game is scheduled to get underway at 7:00 PM at the Ban Johnson Arena in Marietta, Ohio.