Grenadiers lose to Bearcats at the buzzer

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Grenadiers lose to Bearcats at the buzzer

Grenadiers tipped off against Brescia Tuesday night in the Activities building

Grenadiers tipped off against Brescia Tuesday night in the Activities building

Lynn Bailey

Grenadiers tipped off against Brescia Tuesday night in the Activities building

Lynn Bailey

Lynn Bailey

Grenadiers tipped off against Brescia Tuesday night in the Activities building

Blake Stewart, Staff Writer

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Brescia University escaped the Activities building Tuesday night after a layup by freshman guard, Darian McNary with just five seconds left which gave the Bearcats a 73-72 victory.

The Grenadiers entered the matchup in a three-way tie for first place in the KIAC South Division. The Grenadiers are now tied for second with a conference record of 7-5 and an overall record of 17-10.

The Grenadiers struggled defensively at the start of Tuesday night’s game.

Brescia went on a 16-1 run to start the game, aided by four three-pointers from the Bearcats; two of those coming from junior guard, Julie Whitfill. Whitfill ended up with a game high 23 points and was 5-10 from three-point range.

The Bearcats ended up going 7-11 from three-point range in the first half.

The struggles continued for the Grenadiers offensively. The Grenadiers shot just 37% from the field and just 60% from the free throw line.

Brescia led 39-31 at halftime.

Midway through the second half, as the Grenadiers were looming towards a comeback down five, head coach, Robin Farris got his second technical foul of the game after arguing a charge call. As a result of his second technical foul, Farris was ejected from the game and assistant coach Brian Sullivan took over.

Sullivan, who is also the head coach of the women’s tennis team, said that you never want to be in the situation where the coach is ejected, but sometimes it happens and you got to be ready to fill in.

“I just tried to stay calm, keep them focused, and just keep reiterating the things that they needed to focus on to win them the game,” Sullivan said.

Senior Guard, Heather Wheat pulls up for an off balance shot against the Bearcats Tuesday night. Wheat had a team high 19 points.

Senior Guard, Heather Wheat pulls up for an off balance shot against the Bearcats Tuesday night. Wheat had a team high 19 points.

After Farris was ejected, the Grenadiers started playing a lot more aggressive on defense and began making shots on the offensive side.

The Grenadiers started giving the ball to sophomore forward, Alex Tinsley in the post. After having just two points in the first half, she dominated the post and attacked the basket for 14 points in the second half.

Tinsley said that the game plan didn’t change in the second half. She just had the hot hand.

“When someone has a hot hand you go through them and they just noticed (me),” Tinsley said.

The Bearcats were held to just 32% shooting in the second half by the Grenadiers, including just 2-10 from the three-point line. The Grenadiers shot 55% from the field and made 17-22 free throws.

“We made some of the adjustments getting out there and communicating switches, identifying who the better shooters were, and not helping off against the drive,” Sullivan said.

The Grenadiers took the lead for the first time in the game late in the half with a traditional three-point play by senior guard, Heather Wheat. Wheat finished the game with a team-high 19 points and 5 assists.

Brescia, however, would get a steal late in the game and drive it to the basket for a layup and tie the game at 71.

Sophomore forward, Michaela Harris then drew a foul with 11.4 seconds left in regulation. She went to the line and made one out of two free throws to give the Grenadiers a 72-71 lead.

McNary then dribbled the ball down the floor and drove to the basket and made the basket with five seconds left to give Brescia the lead.

Tinsley’s inbounds pass was tipped and stolen by the Bearcats, who then ran out the clock to win the game.

Coach Sullivan talked about just how resilient his team is when down in games.

“We’ve been in those situations where you’re up by seven or eight points you’re down seven or eight points, but the game is never over,” Sullivan said. “We’ve shown that we can fight back from double digit situations, you just hope you don’t put yourself in that situation to begin with.”

The Grenadiers will look to bounce back and recapture a tie for first place in their division when they play first place, Asbury University on Homecoming Saturday at noon. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with free food and games. Directly after the women’s game, the men play their homecoming game also against Asbury.