By: CASEY McDONALD
What was a very close game all the way through somehow slipped through the fingertips of the IU South Bend Men’s Basketball Team as they took on the Fighting Saints of Saint Francis.
Saint Francis would go on a 7-0 run against the Titans, before a jumper by Jeremy Jones would settle the dust. From there, it looked like the Titans found what they needed. T.J. Benner had a beautiful steal and fast break for a quick and deep three to put the Titans within two, before a layup by Matt Bullinger would tie the game.
From there it was a back and forth contest between these two teams. The Titans gained their largest lead at six with a three-point shot by Norell Smith at the 7:55 mark of the first half, the assist from Dylan Allen.
The Titans fought to keep the lead, with a three by Rashaan Jackson, but the Fighting Saints regained the lead after a foul by Benner allowed the two point conversion.
In the final 20 seconds of the first half, Bullinger created a steal and sent it down the court but failed to convert the three pointer to tie the game, as the Titans trailed 38-35 at the halfway point.
In the second session, Benner tied the game with a shot behind the arc. But from then on the Fighting Saints took matters into their own hands as they went on a 16-0 run against IU South Bend before Allen sent one in for two.
Saint Francis had their largest lead of the game at 19 against the Titans as Coach Cooper and his staff struggled to figure out where the shift of momentum happened.
Taylor Brooks, who’s usually the spark and the voice for the Titans’ explosive offense and defense, was very quiet as he only had seven points the entire contest.
With about five minutes left in regulation, another impressive layup by Allen cut the Fighting Saints lead to 10 points, but that’s as close as the Titans would get.
The very quiet Brooks finally came to life in the last 30 seconds of the game when the assist from Benner landed the only dunk of the matchup in Brooks hands.
However, Saint Francis would hold the ball for the remainder of the time allotted as they handed the Titans a conference loss on the road.
Allen ended the contest with a team-high 14 points and two steals. Norell Smith followed with 12 points. Even though he had a quiet night, Brooks still walked away with nine total rebounds as Benner had the third highest point total, with eight.
The team is now 10-9 overall, 2-7 in the Chicagoland Conference.