One more win. That’s all that stands between Saint Mary basketball and a conference crown.
After edging out Bethany 81-77 on the road Thursday, the USM men hold a three-game lead over the three teams chasing them with — three games left in the regular season.
So, simply put, if the Spires win Saturday at Tabor, they will clinch the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Crown regular season title.
Thursday’s game wasn’t easy. The two teams clawed to a 33-30 halftime score in USM’s favor.
The second half was even closer as the teams traded leads throughout. With 1:47 left in the game, Saint Mary was down 75-73.
But then a 8-2 run keyed by its defense allowed the Spires to pull out the victory.
USM, 14-1 in the KCAC and 20-6, will go for the conference championship Saturday at 7 p.m.
Lady Spires beat by freebies
In a defensive battle, it was the free throw line that did in the Saint Mary women.
Host Bethany shot 26 freebies Thursday, converting 12 of them, while the Lady Spires basketball team made just 5 of its 11 attempts.
That seven-point disparity played a big role in the end as USM lost 44-39. Tracie Weegie led Saint Mary in scoring with eight points.
The defeat dropped the Lady Spires to 2-13 in conference play, 8-19 overall. The squad will play at Tabor Saturday at 5 p.m.