GREENSBURG, Pa. – The Franciscan men's basketball team needed an extra five minutes of action, but the Barons pulled out a 60-57 win over Pitt.-Greensburg to sweep the season series, Wednesday evening.
With the win, the Barons improved to 5-17 on the year and 4-11 in the AMCC while the Bobcats fell to 6-15 overall and 4-11 in the AMCC.
Trailing 49-48 with 2:48 to play, the Baron defense did not allow the Bobcats to get an offensive rebound to keep it a one-point game. With 14 seconds, senior Keoni Sablan drew a foul as he was going up for a layup and hit the backend of his trip to the free throw line to tie the game at 49-49. The Barons kept the pressure on the Bobcats under their basket and did not allow the home team to get a shot off in the final 14 seconds to send the game into overtime.
Sablan gave the Barons their first lead since the three-minute mark in the second half as he opened the overtime period with a layup 13 seconds into action. Greensburg answered with a three-pointer quickly into its next possession to re-take the lead, 52-51. The Bobcats pushed their lead to four points as Joe Mancini hit a three with 2:35 to play in the overtime period. Sophomore Matt Trent cut the lead back down to two as classmate Aaron Foldi put the ball cleanly in Trent's hands for the easy layup under the basket with 2:10 to play. The Bobcats missed a three on their next possession and despite grabbing the offensive board, turned the ball over with an offensive foul with 1:03 to play. The foul sent Trent to the free throw line and the Cleveland, Ohio native made it a one-point game after hitting the second of two free throws. Greensburg missed a jumper on their end of the court and Foldi grabbed the defensive rebound and got the ball to the sideline for head coach Joe Wallace to call a timeout. Coming out the timeout, Trent continued to be the hot-hand for the Barons and gave them the lead for good, 56-55, as he made a layup off a pass from sophomore Josh York with just 24 seconds left in overtime.
Foldi got his hands on the ball under the Bobcat basket and forced Greensburg to foul. The Bloomingdale, Ohio native came up clutch and hit both free throws to push the Baron lead to three, 58-55, with 10 seconds left. Cam Seigfried made a layup with just three seconds left to get the Bobcats to within one, 58-57, but Sablan was fouled on the inbound and hit both of his free throws with a second left on the clock to seal the 60-57 win for the Barons.
"Keoni was a stud down the stretch," remarked Coach Wallace. "He made huge shots and made his Free throws. It was a clutch performance from our senior captain.
"Aaron Foldi came up big," continued Coach Wallace. "He got his hands on a lot of balls and did a great job of providing gap help. His free throws were huge."
The game was tied 14-14 with 10:50 left in the first and the Barons used a 9-0 run over the next six minutes to push its lead to 23-14, their largest lead of the half. After the Bobcats cut the lead back to four, Sablan pushed it back to six with a jumper with 3:25 left in the half. The two teams traded layups in the final two minutes as the Barons carried the 27-21 lead into halftime.
Franciscan opened the second half with four unanswered points in the first two minutes to take the largest lead of the game for either team, 31-21. The Bobcats cut the lead down to two with an 8-0 run over the next three minutes before Trent halted the run with a jumper at 15:12.
The Barons kept at least a two-point cushion over the next five minutes until the Bobcats tied the game at 38-38 with 8:21 to play. Sablan gave the Barons back the lead with a pair of free throws before Trent pushed the lead back to four with a jumper at 7:20. The lead changed hands two more times and was tied three times in the final 7:20 of action, including the 49-49 tie at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.
Sablan led all players with 15 points behind a 5-for-11 day from the floor a 5-for-6 from the free throw line. The senior added three rebounds, three assists and a steal for the Barons. Trent posted his third-straight double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds and was 5-for-7 from the floor.
"Matt had another double-double," commented Coach Wallace. "He continues to rebound extremely well for us and made two huge buckets in overtime tonight."
Junior Juwan Perkins finished the day with 12 points, three rebounds, and three steals. Foldi dished out four assists to go with his eight points and three rebounds and steal.
"This was a total team effort a lot of guys made major contributions," remarked Coach Wallace. "To win on the road you have to pack your defense and rebound, and we did that tonight."
The Barons out-rebounded the Bobcats 43-30, limiting Greensburg to just 14 offensive boards and allowed just nine second-chance points. The Barons got 32 points off the bench and dominated in the paint, holding a 28-18 point advantage.
The Barons conclude their final road trip of the regular season as they head to D'Youville on Saturday for a 1:00 pm AMCC contest.