Marcus Taliaferro, Athletics Communications Assistant
JOLIET – A valiant effort by the University of St. Francis men’s basketball team was not enough this Monday (Nov. 30) afternoon as the Saints fall in a double-overtime thriller to Bellueve, 77-71, on day 3 of the 2020 USF Thanksgiving Classic at the Sulivan Center.
Lewis Holey (Jr/Sydney, Australia) kicked off the new season with a layup to give the Saints a 2-0 lead at 19:43. The scoring continued in the first half after a pair of free throws by Josh Cherry (Jr/Newark, NJ) gave the Saints a 12-point lead with 6:59 left to go in the first half. The Bruins clawed back into the game, cutting the lead to seven at the end of the first half. The Saints outscored the Bruins 33-26 in the first half shooting 50% from the field and an outstanding 71.4% from the 3-point line.
The Saints continued their solid play at the start of the second half, after a made layup from Deandre Johnson (St. Watts, Calif.) the score was 42-35 with 14:30 left on the clock. The Saints would go into a scoring drought, allowing the Bruins to come back and tie the game 44 with 10:03 left on the clock.
Defense became the story as both teams battled for the lead for the remaining of the second half resulting in two lead changes and four scoring ties. Deandre Johnson’s layup would break the third tie of the second half and give the Saints a 56-54 lead with 1:07 left in the game. A layup from Bruins forward Jemeil King would go on to tie the game with 10 seconds remaining. A last-second missed layup from the Saints forced the game into overtime.
The Saints and Bruins continued to battle for the win in the first overtime. With the Bruins up three in the first overtime Saints guard Joey Buggemi (JR/Frankfort, Ill.) nailed a three-pointer with 1 second remaining and tied the game up at 62-62. However, the Bruins would on to run away with the victory 77-71.
Buggemi would lead all Saints scoring with 16 points including 3-8 effort from beyond the arc. The saints shot a total of 42% from the 3 point line and 41% from the field. Deandre Johnson and Lewis Holey also scored in double figures. Both men scored 10 points and Johnson grabbed a game-leading 10 rebounds off the bench. Eric Ting (Sr/Taoyuan Taiwan) contributed with a game-leading seven assists
The Saints close out the 2020 USF Thanksgiving Classic on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. (CT) when they face East-West University at the Sulivan Center.