(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – The Thomas More College men's basketball team bounced back from a loss on Wednesday against Wilmington, to defeat the Otterbein Cardinals, 80-69, in the first of two games for the Saints in the Thomas More Coach Jim Connor Classic sponsored by Holiday Inn Cincinnati Airport.
With the win, the Saints improve to 1-1 while the Cardinals drop to 0-2.
Thomas More jumped out to a 5-2 lead from a three pointer by Austin Young and a jumper from Brandon Horne. Thomas More went on a 5-0 run, to push their lead to seven with 12-minutes to go in the first half. Otterbein got within six with nine minutes to go in the half, when the Saints went on another 5-0 run, extending the lead to 13. The Saints led as much as 15 in the first half, going into half-time with a 13-point lead, 47-34.
In the second-half, the Saints fought back to their 15-point lead from a few free-throws by Damion King and jumpers by Horne and Simon Clifford. The Cardinals cut the lead to just eight points with 11 minutes to go in the game. A couple of fast-break layups from Horne and King extended the Saints lead with five minutes to go in the game to 13. Two three-pointers brought the cardinals back within seven with a minute left. Two free-throws by King sent the Saints on to win 80-69.
King recorded a double-double with game high 19 points and game high 10 assists. He also had five rebounds and went a perfect 5-5 from the free-throw line. Clifford was second on the team with 17 points and five rebounds. Horne was a close third in points, tied with Junior Stockwell, for 12 points. Stockwell also was perfect form the free-throw line. Horn also recorded five assists, four rebounds and one steal.
The Thomas More Saints will face Kent St. Tuscarawas tomorrow for the second game for the Saints in the Connor Classic. Tip-off will be at 4:00 PM following the Otterbein vs. Hanover game starting at 2:00 PM.