ADRIAN, Mich. - The Lawrence Technological University men's basketball team battle hard, looking for another WHAC win this weekend on the road versus the Saints of Siena Heights (Mich.). Despite their best efforts and being up by two with 30 seconds to go, the Blue Devils fell in a heartbreaking, miracle half court hail mary basket from the hands of Kevin Smith II in the final seconds of the match.
The first half started off with the men playing strong, continuing to push a lead up on the Saints (4-5, 7-11). Propelling the to an early lead, the Blue Devils (2-7, 7-9)) were on fire around the court, especially inside the paint, going almost 53%. They also went 50% from the outside and hit all three of their opportunities from the foul line. Going into the second, the Blue Devils had a team lead, up 50 to 42, largely due to the efforts from all the players on the court. Leading the team was Carter Frantz with 14 points alone in the second. Right behind him was center Gunnar Gustafson with nine points and seven huge rebounds in the first.
The second half shined a light on the abilities of the Blue Devils in the early minutes, where they stretched their lead to the highest point of being up by 12, from the hands of Alek Ivanoc with a three, to another three made by Jordan Henry and a series of seemingly perfectly timed plays. However, the Saints started to claw their way back with an strong offensive game. Due to some badly timed fouls made by the Blue Devils, they gave way to the Saints to get a lead with only 43 seconds to go, up 84-83. Then, Brandon Beavers, with 30 seconds to go, passed the ball to Jordan Henry, who chucked up a three point shot to give the Blue Devils hope. With 30 seconds to go, and up by two, the LTU bench called a timeout. The Saints missed a few more opportunities to take the lead, but LTU missed a 1 on 1 free throw with five seconds to go, giving the Saints a chance, which Smith took and made his miracle half court shot, sealing the loss for Lawrence Tech with the Saints up by one with a final score of 87-86.
The team fell short just narrowly, despite a 50% night from inside and out-rebounding the Saints 31-28. Yet, Siena Heights narrowly outshot the Blue Devils, primarily in the second half. Leading Lawrence Tech in the end was Jordan Henry who had 22 points on the night and a double-double from Gunnar Gustafson who had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Carter Frantz also had double digit points, grabbing 19 and Alek Ivanovic had 11 points, totaling four Blue Devils with double digits in the loss.
LTU comes home to face the Lourdes Gray Wolves on Wednesday, January 15th at 8:00 p.m. searching for their third win within the WHAC.