Bearcats fall at Waynesburg in final seconds

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WAYNESBURG, Pa. (Feb. 4) – BJ Durham hit a runner in the lane with 4.2 seconds left to give Waynesburg a 66-65 victory over the Saint Vincent men's college basketball team at the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse.

The loss snapped the Bearcats six-game road winning streak against Presidents' Athletic Conference opponents. SVC now sits at 14-6 overall and remains alone in first place with a 9-2 conference mark. Waynesburg improves to 11-9 and 8-4 in conference play.

The Bearcats lone senior, Sean Kett, poured in a career-high 21 points, 13 of which came at the free throw line. The Miami, Fla. was in possession to have the game-winning points for the Bearcats, after nailing two free throws with 10 seconds remaining before Durham's game winner for the Jackets.

After a made basket to start the game for Waynesburg, sophomore forward Austin Ford opened up the scoring for SVC with a layup at the 16:45 mark. The Jackets and Bearcats traded three pointers, with Saint Vincent's coming from Ben Klimchock to tie the score at 5-5 with 15:02 to play.

After a Pat Jones jumper tied the contest at 7-7, Waynesburg responded with six straight points for their biggest lead of the first half, at 13-7 at the 10:16 mark. Saint Vincent fought back, getting a basket from JC Howard and a three-point play the old fashioned way, bringing their deficit to 18-17 with 4:07 to play in the opening half.

Waynesburg worked its lead back to five points before freshman Austin Dedert made a tip-in, making the score 24-21 in favor of the host Jackets with 1:33 to play in the half. The Jackets pushed their lead back to five points before Kett split a pair of free throws, making the Bearcats deficit 28-24 at halftime.  

Saint Vincent started the second half strong, taking their first lead of the game when Howard hit a three-pointer and Dedert added a layup to give SVC a 31-30 at the 17:04 to play. Jaylon Bell added a layup to push the SVC lead to 33-30.

Waynesburg responded with a 9-to-4 run, regaining a 39-37 lead at the 13:53 to play. On the ensuing SVC possession, Kett knocked down a pair of free throws to bring the score to 39-39 at the 13:32 mark.

The Jackets then went on a 12-4 run over the next four minutes to take a 51-43 lead with 9:02 to play. The eight point differential was the largest lead of the game for the home team.

That's when SVC went to work, slowly working away at the deficit. Howard sparked eight straight points for the Bearcats with two made three pointers, that run cut the Bearcats margin of deficit to 51-50 at the 7:39 mark. Durham knocked in back-to-back treys for Waynesburg to push their lead back to seven points, at 57-50.

SVC cut the deficit back down to two points (60-58) when Kett made a pair more at the line and Jones added a layup with just 1:41 showing on the second half clock.

Waynesburg did a nice job at the free throw line over the last minute, helping push their lead to 64-60 with 53 seconds to play. Kett tried to will his team to victory with a three-point play, cutting the deficit with 45 seconds to play.

After a defensive stop, Kett then made two free throws with 10 seconds left, giving the Bearcats a 65-64 lead. However, Waynesburg pulled out the win with the running jump shot by Durham in the final seconds.

Kett and Howard were joined by Dedert in double figures scoring wise, as the freshman recorded 10 points. Jones added a game-high nine rebounds.

SVC lost despite shooting 50 percent from the field, but attempted 10 less shots than Waynesburg. The Bearcats also out-rebounded Waynesburg by a 32-25 margin in the contest.

SVC returns to action when they host Westminster College for Neon Night at the Carey Center on Saturday, Feb. 7. The contest is set for a 6 p.m. tip-off.