|Graceland University 20-11||29||33||62|
|Benedictine (Kan.) 21-10||30||30||60|
|Mar. 2, 2017|
|Graceland University||Indv. Leaders||Benedictine (Kan.)|
|#4 RJ Williams - 20||Points||#24 Connor Fleming - 13|
|#10 Carl Martin - 5||Rebounds||#24 Connor Fleming - 9|
|#10 Carl Martin - 6||Assists||#24 Connor Fleming - 7|
|Graceland University||Team Statistics||Benedictine (Kan.)|
|43.8% (21 - 48)||Field Goals %||46.8% (22 - 47)|
|41.7% (10 - 24)||3 Point Field Goals %||33.3% (5 - 15)|
|71.4% (10 - 14)||Free Throws||64.7% (11 - 17)|
|5||2nd Chance Pts||6|
ATCHISON, KS – Graceland University men's basketball knocked off the fourth seeded Benedictine College 62-60, as RJ Williams went 6-for-8 from three-point range.
Graceland improved to 20-11 on the year, as the Benedictine dropped to 21-10.
"I am incredibly proud of our guys," head coach Craig Doty stated. "We wanted to control the tempo and our guys were able to execute the game plan. Even with Frank (Cimino) and Jeremy (Deemer) struggling to establish themselves offensively, our scoring depth paid off as RJ (Williams), Carl (Martin), and LT (Davis) produced solid individual performances. Ultimately, our defense won the game for us."
The contest was close at the start with the game tied at 7-7, five minutes into the contest. Benedictine then swung the momentum, firing on all cylinders. The Ravens built themselves a 10-point advantage, going ahead 24-14.
With six minutes remaining in the first half, RJ Williams splashed a triple on the right wing, off a pass from Carl Martin. Then on the Ravens next possession, Frank Cimino came up with a steal. LT Davis counted a basket in the paint to cut the margin to five (28-23). Later, Ben Grygiel drove to the lane, kissing the glass to bring the contest within one (30-29). The half ended with Benedictine leading 30-29.
After the break, the Yellowjackets took off on an 11-2 run, which included three triples by RJ Williams. The Jackets led 42-32 five minutes into the second half. BC slashed the margin to single digits with 12 minutes to play at 47-38. Three and half minutes later, LT Davis' knocked down three, putting GU had 53-42.
Again, the Ravens chipped away at the score, bringing the contest to within three at 56-53. RJ Williams then buried another trey with 1:12 on the clock.
With 16 seconds to play, Benedictine's Jake Schannuth then counted a pair of free-throws to bring the score to 59-57.. BC quickly fouled putting Carl Martin on the line. Martin sank both free-throws to go ahead ahead 61-58. BC's CJ Vallejo was then fouled, knocking down both from the charity line. Martin then put in one-of-two freethrows with four seconds remaining. Graceland took the game 62-60.
Graceland University shot 43.8 percent (21-48) from the floor, including 41.7 percent (10-24) from beyond the arc. Benedictine shot 46.8 percent (22-47) from the field and 33.3 percent (5-15) from three-point range. BC recorded 26 points in the paint, while the GU posted 13 off turnovers.
RJ Williams led the team with 20 points. He knocked down 7-of-9 from the floor, including 6-of-8 from three. Carl Martin and LT Davis also scored in double-figures, counting 16 and 12 points, respectively. Martin pulled down a team-high five rebounds, dishing out six assists. Cimino marked three of the team's four steals.
Connor Fleming and CJ Vallejo led the team with 13 and 12 points, respectively. No other player scored more than eight points. Fleming just missed a double-double with nine points. He also dished out a team-high seven assists.
"Tournament games are tough to win, especially on the road," said Doty. "They usually come down to possessions in the half-court on both offense and defense. I am proud of the discipline our guys showed throughout the evening."
Men's basketball will play again in the Heart Conference Tournament Semifinals on Saturday in Oskaloosa, IA. The Jackets will take on William Penn University at 7 p.m.
For updates on men's basketball and all our teams, follow @GUjackets on Twitter and like us at Facebook.com/GUjackets.
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