Sophomore Tony Banks scored a career-high 17 points in the Tigers win in the first round of the CCAC Tournament
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – A career-high 17 points by sophomore Tony Banks (Peoria, Ill.) led the Tigers through the first round of the CCAC Division II Tournament over Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) on Monday night, February 18. The Tigers struggled to play with much rhythm or efficiency but came away with the only thing that mattered: a win, by the score of 72-64. The Tigers have won 10 of their last 12 games and their five home games, not to mention the season sweep of conference opponent Calumet-St. Joseph. The Tigers now advance to the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament.
The Tigers (18-12) came out ready to play and took a 14-2 lead through the first 5:29. However, Calumet-St. Joseph (7-23) went on a 9-1 run to cut the deficit to 15-11 over the next four minutes. ONU was able to stretch the lead back to double digits by the 9:30 mark after a layup by Hunter Jacobs (Champaign, Ill.). They again let the Crimson Wave back in the game by giving up offensive rebounds and free-throws but took a 12-point lead with 3:54 to play. Once again, Olivet was unable to stretch a lead and was only able to lead by nine (33-24) at the half.
In the first half, Olivet shot 14-for-34 from the field (41.2 percent), 4-for-14 from the three-point line (28.6 percent) and 1-for-3 from the free-throw line (33.3 percent). They were outrebounded by Calumet-St. Joseph 22-19. The Tigers had seven offensive rebounds and committed three turnovers. Calumet-St. Joseph shot 28.6 percent from the field, 0 percent from the three-point line and 72.7 percent from the free-throw line. The Crimson Wave committed seven first-half turnovers and had nine offensive rebounds.
ONU needed a solid second half to bounce back from a mediocre first half. Through the first three minutes, the Tigers were able to take an 11-point lead. Calumet-St. Joseph stayed within six to 10 points over the next 10 minutes until the Tigers finally broke out and took their largest lead of the game (67-53). The Tigers kept a comfortable lead by making a sufficient number of free-throws, and then they finally let the Crimson Wave back within seven points with 13 seconds to play. But time ran out on the upset.
Tony Banks scored a career-high 17 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field, 3-for-4 from the three-point line and 4-for-11 from the free-throw line. He added eight rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes.
Sophomore Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) finished with 12 points on 4-for-13 shooting from the field, 2-for-9 from the three-point line and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes off the bench.
Off the bench, sophomore Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) gave the Tigers nine points and two rebounds in 12 minutes. Hunter Jacobs finished with eight points and four rebounds in 16 minutes.
Senior Jake Boyce (Lockport, Ill.) finished with seven points, seven rebounds and three assists. Senior Ben Worner (Washington, Ill.) finished with eight points, six rebounds and four assists.
Damonte Lowery led the Crimson Wave with 20 points on 6-for-19 shooting from the field, 1-for-9 from the three-point line and 7-for-9 from the free-throw line. He added eight rebounds and two steals in 40 minutes. Javon Robinson finished with 16 points on 5-for-16 shooting and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line, and had six rebounds in 34 minutes. Brannon Jones added 12 points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes.
Overall, the Tigers shot 25-for-65 from the field (38.5 percent), 8-for-27 from the three-point line (29.6 percent) and 14-for-25 from the free-throw line (56 percent). They were outrebounded by Calumet-St. Joseph 47-41, committed 10 turnovers and totaled 19 assists, with 18 offensive rebounds and six steals.
Calumet-St. Joseph shot 22-for-65 from the field (33.8 percent), 1-for-13 from beyond the arc (7.7 percent) and 19-for-25 from the free-throw line (76 percent). The Crimson Wave had eight assists, 14 turnovers, 20 offensive rebounds and six steals.
Worner has made 199 career three-pointers, good for fifth all-time. Worner is 13 behind Jeremy Riddle for fourth (212). Also, with eight points against Calumet-St. Joseph, Worner now has 1,042 career points and is 23 shy of 36th on the all-time scoring list (Chris Graham with 1,065).
ONU will continue postseason play in the quarterfinals of the CCAC Division II Tournament on Wednesday, February 20, on the road against the University of St. Francis (Ill.) at 7 p.m.