by Gary Stepp
Junior forward Tyler Rogers showed Coach JR Hammond and the fans some love on Valentine’s Day by registering a double-double to help propel the Alice Lloyd Eagles to a convincing 67-58 victory over the Brescia University Bearcats. The important KIAC showdown was played Saturday afternoon at the Grady Nutt Athletic Center.
The beginning of the game was emotional as the Eagles recognized their lone senior, Craig Faulkner. The guard has only been able to play very little during his career (and none the past few seasons due to several major knee surgeries). He was inserted into the starting lineup, however, and after the guests had shot an uncontested layup on their side to open the scoring, Bearcat Coach Josh Gibson graciously allowed the senior to sink a lay-up to knot the game; Faulkner then left the floor to a rousing ovation.
After the 2-2 tie, ALC was able to jump ahead quickly and establish control. On the defensive end, they limited the visitors, who entered the contest as the eastern division’s top squad, to just 29% shooting from the field. When the buzzer sounded for intermission, the hosts held a 32-23 advantage.
In the second half, Alice Lloyd maintained their margin for the first five minutes. However, the combination of Rogers, and excellent team defense, proved lethal to the Bearcats; these two factors enabled the Eagles to extend their advantage to as many as 18 points (55-37) with 5:56 remaining. A late BU run reduced the deficit somewhat, but they were never able to threaten the home squad.
For the winners (12-15; 7-5 KIAC), Rogers led the way with 22 points (on 9-15 field goals). He also ripped down 11 rebounds, and added 5 blocks and 1 steal.
Cody Stumbo and Deondre Warren each added 9 points, while Warren also contributed 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Trevor Tiller added 3 assists
Brescia (16-9; 8-3 KIAC) was led by Jermain Langley with 21.
On the night, Alice Lloyd shot 43.9% from the floor (25-57), and just 18.8% from long range (3-16). BU shot just 29.2% from the floor (21-72), and 28% from long distance (7-25).
Alice Lloyd hit 63.6% of their free-throws (14-22) compared to Brescia’s 75 % (9-12). The victors also won the crucial battle of the boards, 41-40.
The Eagles close the regular season on the road Saturday, when they travel to Wilmore to face Asbury University. This contest will have major ramifications on the seeding for the KIAC Conference Tournament. Tipoff is scheduled for 4pm.