Barons Know Off Mounties at Home

More news about: Franciscan (Ohio)

STEUBENVILLE – Despite frigid temperatures outside, the Franciscan men's basketball team heated up Kuzma Court with an exciting 63-53 win over visiting Mount Aloysius, Wednesday evening.
With the win, the Barons improved to 10-9 on the year and evened their Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference record to 6-6. The Mounties fall to 11-9 on the year and 8-5 in conference.
The Barons stepped on the gas right away and took a quick 6-0 lead thanks to a pair of three-pointers from junior Joe Schriner (Bluffton, OH/Bluffton) and sophomore Sean Hickey (North Olmstead, OH/Holy Name). Franciscan's tenacious defense kept the Mounties off balance and did not allow a field goal until the 13:42 mark in the half when Trent McErlane hit a three to trim the Baron lead to 10-4.
"We punched from the beginning and put them on their heels," remarked head coach Joe Wallace. "Coach Santangelo has been pushing me to start pressing for 40 minutes for a while and I've finally given in. Our mentality as a program is about being the aggressor. We will continue to attack our opponents. I can be stubborn but the press is who we are."
The press worked well for the Barons as they held the Mounties to just 19.35% shooting in the first and 29.3% from the floor for the game. Franciscan out-scored the Mounties 34-20 in the first 20 minutes to take a 14-point lead into halftime.
Mount Aloysius came out swinging in the second half and used an 8-0 run in the first three minutes to trim the lead to six, 34-28, but that would be as close as the Mounties could make the game.
After seeing their double-digit lead get cut to six, junior Josh York (Russia, OH/Russia Local) grabbed an offensive board for the Barons and dished it to freshman Travis Lien (St. Louis, MO/Kirkwood) who drew a foul. Lien then drove to the basket for a good layup to push the lead back to eight, 36-28.  Junior John Noce (Brewster, NY/John F. Kennedy Catholic) forced a turnover and dished the ball out to junior Matt Trent (Cleveland, OH/Trinity) who hit a short jumper to give the Barons back the double-digit lead, 38-28, with 15:41 to play.
McErlane got the Mounties back to within nine, 40-31, but Franciscan continued to dominate the pace of play and Trent pushed the lead back to 11, 42-31, with 12:52 to play. Trent's layup kicked off a 17-5 run that took 11 minutes off of the clock and gave Franciscan a 23-point lead, 59-36 with just over two minutes to play.
The Mounties continued to chip away but couldn't find an answer to the Barons quick-paced defense and Franciscan maintained the double-digit advantage for the rest of the ball game.
Sophomore Jonathan Sigler (Covington, LA/Archbishop Hannan) made the final basket for the Barons, a free throw with just seven seconds left before Imil Britt closed out the game with a pair from the free throw line for Mt. Aloysius. The Barons won 63-53.
Franciscan shot 42.9% (24-for-56) from the floor while holding the Mounties to a 23.9% game. Mt. Aloysius' shooting percentage was the second lowest by an opponent for the season for Franciscan.
Hickey led the Barons with 18 points, all from beyond the arc, and Trent put up his 11th double-double of the year with 14 points and 13 rebounds. York finished the day with 11 boards and eight points, just narrowly missing a double-double.
"Sean Hickey is one of the best guards in our conference and he set the tone on both ends of the court," remarked Coach Wallace. "Matt and Josh dominated the game tonight. They combined for 26 points and 24 rebounds. Matt is our staple, but if Josh continues this play we will be a tough out."
Lien was third Baron in double figures with 10 points and a career-best three blocks to go with four rebounds and a pair of assists.
"Travis Lien is a talented freshman. I enjoy his personality and coaching him. He's a happy go lucky guy and I can relate to that. His ceiling is extremely high," complimented Coach Wallace.
The Barons hit the road on Saturday for a quick road trip to Penn State Behrend for a 4:00 pm AMCC tilt.