ABOVE: Andrew Hamm, junior guard, looks for an open teammate during the game versus the Spires. The men now have a score of 22-2 overall and 18-2 KCAC. (Tessa Castor/Staff photographer)
By Cale Eirich
The 8th ranked men’s Builder basketball was given a run for their money by the Saint Mary Spires (9-15) as they head down the final stretch of KCAC play. Despite a strong upset bid by the Spires, who held a 4-point lead midway through the second half, the Builder’s defense and free-throws came up clutch in the final minutes.
The Spires leaned heavily on their three-point shooting, with 12-19 (63.2%) from beyond the arch. For a large portion of the second half Saint Mary’s went shot for shot with the Builders, having four players finish in double digits.
Free-throws made the difference down the stretch, the Spires shot 47.1% from the line, missing key free-throws late in the game that allowed the Builders to stay within reach.
Led by Cameron Hunt, senior guard, with 36-points in 33 minutes, the Builders pulled out a 1-point home win in the final moments of regulation. Hunt shot 13 of 14 from the line, allowing Southwestern to tie the game late, and take a one-point lead with 2:37 remaining.
Hunt committed a crucial personal foul on an inbound with four seconds remaining in regulation giving the Spires a chance to win on their final shot. Builders defense held strong forcing a turnover as time expired, icing a win at home and moving to 22-2 on the season with their sixth-straight win.
With the win, the Builders keep on pace with 2nd ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan (24-1) and are in a strong position at number two in the KCAC.
The Builders will go on the road next Wednesday to Kansas City, MO, facing Avila (2-18) at 8 p.m. looking to stay in contention for their second straight KCAC title.
Cale Eirich is senior majoring in communication. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.