In its second road test of the season, the University of Saint Mary men’s basketball team got all it could handle Thursday and then some.
Although the No. 12 nationally ranked Spires gave up 52 free throws to its hosts, the College of Ozarks, USM was still able to push the game into overtime following a 39-37 halftime deficit.
But despite the comeback, the extra session got away from the visitors and Saint Mary ended up losing its first game of the season 89-86.
“We had chances to win the game, we just found too many ways not to,” USM coach Jon Bishop said. “We’ve got to get tougher as a team and handle adversity better.”
Besides just earning 21 free throw attempts to Ozarks’ 52, the Spires were also out-rebounded 39-29 and committed 19 turnovers.
The team did shoot 58 percent from the field and was 11-for-21 from the 3-point line, which fueled the Spires’ comeback.
However, the foul trouble and self-inflicted mistakes ultimately were too costly for USM to overcome.
Saint Mary, 1-1 overall, will play at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist Tuesday starting at 7:30 p.m.
Lady Spires can’t keep pace with Flames
Traveling to Omaha, Neb., Thursday, the University of Saint Mary women’s basketball team found itself facing a familiar foe.
The Lady Spires took on the College of Saint Mary, and its troubles with its hosts all night. After trailing 55-33 at half time, USM went on to lose 110-75.
“It was an up-and-down game, that’s for sure,” USM coach Mike Basler said. “We have some things to work on as we transition to this new style of play and they were noticeable tonight. They beat us in transition and they shot it really well.”
Each team had impressive shooting clips — Lady Spires 42 percent versus the Flames 52 percent. The game’s biggest difference came in the turnover margin as Saint Mary racked up 23 giveaways compared to the home team’s nine.
USM, 1-1 overall, will play at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist Tuesday starting at 5:30 p.m.