By: Tyler Smith '18
(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) In front of a lively crowd tonight (February 15, 2017) inside the Connor Convocation Center, the Thomas More College men's basketball team was able to pull out an 87-78 victory over President Athletic Conference (PAC) opponent Saint Vincent College.
Tonight Thomas More wasn't just looking to win for its only senior on senior night, but was also trying to clinch a share of the number one spot in the PAC standings. Shooting 50.8 percent from the field, 47.21 percent from three-point land and 85 percent from the free-throw line the Saints were able to accomplish the goals for tonight. Not only did the Saints nearly shoot above 50 percent in every area they also out-rebounded their opponent 35-23 making it the third game in a row the Saints have out-rebounded their opponent by 10 or more rebounds. The next step and final step for the Saints in the regular season is to win Saturday (February 18, 20187) against Washington & Jefferson College.
The Saints had 10 players reach the scoring column tonight and were led by this week's PAC Player of the Week, sophomore guard Damion King (Winchester, Ky./George Rodgers Clark), who finished with a game-high 25 points and also had nine assists and seven rebounds. Behind King was sophomore guard Ryne Callahan (Morehead, Ky./Rowan County) with 12 points, senior guard Sawyer Pauly (Crescent Springs, Ky./Covington Catholic) with 11, and sophomore center Junior Stockwell (Florence, Ky./Boone County) with 10.
Talking with senior Sawyer Pauly after the game we asked him what it meant to him to not only win on senior night, but to now share the number one spot in the conference and he said, "It feels good to get that win under our belt especially on senior night. We had a big crowd tonight and a lot of my family members were here so it felt good to get this team win and we are going to move on to the next game."
The Bearcats of Saint Vincent had eight players reach the scoring column and were led by Matt D'Amico, who finished the game with 16 points. The other two Bearcats to score double-digits were Tom Kromka with 14 and Austin Ford with 11.
Talking with Head Coach Drew Cooper after the game we just asked him his thoughts on his team's performance tonight and he told us, "Our number one mission tonight was to out-rebound our opponent and to not turn the ball over. We were able to accomplish one of our goals, but not both." We also asked him how his team was able to pull out a victory over such a tough opponent and he told us, "It came down to guys making plays. We had some veteran players step up and I am so proud of our guys, but we still have some work that needs to be done."
Thomas More will wrap up the regular season on Saturday as they take on Washington & Jefferson College. With a victory Thomas More will at the least share the PAC regular season title. Tip-off will be at 3 p.m. inside the Henry Memorial Center.