By: Matt Lood
On Nov. 8, Holy Cross College hosted its annual CCAC-Crossroads Challenge where IU South Bend’s men’s basketball team squared off against their cross-town rivals, the Bethel University Pilots. The Titans would drop a close one 76-73. That defeat would be the first defeat of the year for the men’s basketball team, leaving them with a 2-1 record.
The game would be back and forth from the initial tip as both teams struggled to gain the advantage over the other.
Junior guard Quentez Columbus scored 13 points in a very competitive first half which had 13 lead changes. Junior Jylen Petty also scored 13 points off the bench in the first half. After 20 minutes of basketball, the Titans would go to the locker room down six points after a buzzer beater from senior guard Terry Ford narrowed the Pilots’ lead to six.
After the halftime break, the Titans’ offense exploded as senior big man Dejon Barney started to make his presence felt on both ends with a huge block and rattling off 10 points in the first five minutes of the half.
After the strong surge from the Titans, the Bethel Pilots would slowly start to work themselves back into the game, at one point knotting up the score 63-63. The turning point in the game would come with 2:09 left in the game as a ball was played down to sophomore forward Nick Mullins who would throw an outlet pass to a shooter in the corner. The ball was tipped by the Bethel defender and sent flying out of bounds. However, the ball would be awarded to the Pilots.
Despite the adversity, the Titans would not stop fighting after trailing by six points. With 34 seconds left, the Titans would get the Pilots’ lead down to one point after a Columbus pull-up three-pointer in transition and a steal and layup on the following inbound pass.
The Titans would foul, sending the Bethel shooter to the line where he would make both free throws. The following possession, Dejon Barney would drill a three-pointer on the right wing to cut the Bethel lead to 75-73. After fouling Bethel again, the shooter would go 1-2 from the line, leaving the Titans 2.9 seconds to tie the game and send it to overtime.
The shot would not find the bottom of the net as we have grown accustomed to seeing from the men’s basketball team.
Final tallies from the game include: Quentez Columbus with 20 points, three rebounds and three assists. Dejon Barney finished with 17 points, six rebounds and three assists. Jylen Petty finished with 13 points, four rebounds and two assists.
The Titans will look to get back in the winning column before the conference season starts.