The Franciscan University of Steubenville’s men’s basketball team lost to the Medaille Mavericks 85-74 in Buffalo, New York, in the first-round playoff match-up of the AMCC Conference Tournament.
The game started off with the same fast pace with which the Barons had been excelling for their past three games. Junior guard Joe Schriner started the scoring for the Barons, and junior center Matt Trent kept it going not too long after. The Baron offense looked sharp as it kept pace with a very hot shooting Medaille team.
A barrage of 3-pointers from the Mavericks made it tough for the Barons to try and gain any ground on the opposing team, and the Medaille lead hovered around 3-6 points ahead of Franciscan for the duration of the first half. Before the half ended, however, junior guard John Noce busted down the floor in just five seconds for a gritty up and under finish at the rim. The Barons headed to the locker room down six with a score of 39-33.
After a very hot shooting second half from the opposition, the Barons saw their chance to make a run in the tail end of the game. However, the Mavericks turned it up and continued their consistent 3-point shooting until they led by 19 points with 12 minutes left in the game.
The Barons had been backed into a corner, but they were not ready to go away. A layup from sophomore guard Sean Hickey, back-to-back buckets from junior forward Josh York and a Schriner three got the deficit down to 10 points in just three minutes. In the next three minutes, two Noce free-throws put the Barons within five points. Franciscan refused to go away, and a comeback was starting to look very possible.
The Mavericks had other plans for the Barons, as they continued the trend of the night and iced the game with some more incredible 3-point shots. The Barons then had to foul due to the clock, and Medaille hit free throws until the clock expired.
Head Coach Joe Wallace had encouraging words for his team: “We’ve accomplished so much this year, and we won’t realize it until later on, and that’s what’s most important right now. We lost tonight, but we never gave up and kept fighting until the very end of the game because that’s just who we are. I want to thank the Baron fans for the incredible support we received this year, and we can’t wait to see them next year.”
This game concluded the men’s basketball season for the Barons. However, look for an identical starting five next year in the 2019-2020 season.