SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 14, 2013) – A determined Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men's basketball team surprised Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) with a convincing 91-85 win Saturday evening. Despite a less than half-filled Mabee Gym as a result of the end of the semester yesterday, the Saints and the Eagles put on an exciting game featuring the No. 1 ranked NAIA DII team Eagles and the top-rated 3-point shooting team Saints.
Head Coach Ryan Wall said, "We played well against a great team. We had lots of energy, especially CJ Martinez. If I had a game ball, I'd give it to him because he played his heart out, throwing his body around diving for balls and scoring a career high 14 points. The rest of the team feeds off that kind of energy, so it was a good performance by everyone."
|Saints reporter Martin Hansson interviews Head Coach Ryan Wall after the game.|
The Saints started the game behind by two points, but that was the last time the Eagles would lead through the rest of the game. By the time the Saints were leading 15-6, ERAU had already committed 10 turnovers; the team averages 15 turnovers a game. The Eagles embarked on a 9-0 run to come within one point of the Saints at 16-15, but the Saints turned things around quickly to build up their lead to double digits with three minutes remaining in the half. At 1:30, the Saints took their biggest lead of 14 at 39-25, and the Eagles came to within eight points before the Saints ended the half with the 42-33 lead.
The Eagles came out in the second half ready to play, but the Saints' high-energy press kept them far enough away to prevent them from gaining any kind of momentum. The Eagles would again come as close as one point to the Saints early in the half, and the Saints would take as much as a 13-point lead.
With the score at 88-87, the Eagles switched to man-on-man, which resulted in some turnovers for the Saints, but they were able to recover and win the game 91-85.
The Saints shot 53 percent from the field connecting on 32-of-60, 56 percent from 3-point range making 10-of-18 and 77 percent from the free-throw line making 17-of-22. The Eagles shot 56 percent from the field for 31-of-55, 29 percent from 3-point range including 5-of-17 and 75 percent from the free-throw line to include 18-of-24.The Saints ended with 20 turnovers, while forcing 25.
Xavier Roberson was the Saints high scorer after he finished with 27 points, 22 of which were scored in the second half. He made 7-of-14 from the field, 4-of-7 from 3-point range and 9-of-9 free throws. Martinez scored a career-high 14 points, including 6-of-10 from the field and 2-of-3 3-pointers. De'Quentin Greer scored 12 points, and Brock Hunter finished with 10 points.
Deforest Carter was ERAU's high scorer with 24 points. Reed Ridder added 16 points, while teammates Rico Saldana scored 14 and Cesar Pastrana 12 points. Pastrana added 10 rebounds for his team.
The Saints will have to wait 21 days for their next game. They will play NCAA Division I University of the Incarnate Word on Jan. 4 in San Antonio. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.