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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Spires host conference tourney game Thursday

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  • Both University of Saint Mary basketball teams closed out the regular season Saturday with a loss at Ottawa University, but the men's team will continue its season in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
    The Spires are the four-seed and will host fifth-seeded Tabor College at 7 p.m. Thursday.
    The winner will play either Friends University or Southwestern College at 7 p.m. Saturday.
    Tabor has come away with two victories against USM this season. USM fell 63-51 on Jan. 18 and 78-67 on Feb. 20.
    USM finished the regular season with a 17-11 overall record and an 11-7 conference record.
    Tabor finished one game behind USM in the standings.
    The USM women closed out the season with a 3-24 overall record after Saturday's 77-69 loss at Ottawa.
    Senior Adelyn Ezeh led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds. Junior Mariah Marusak chipped in 14 points.
    The men lost to Ottawa, 89-76. Freshman Grant Greenberg led USM with 22 points.
    “I thought we were still thinking about the Tabor loss when we went into the game at Ottawa,” UCM head coach Jon Bishop said. “Sometimes it’s tough for our guys to cut those loose and move on to the next game, and we certainly didn’t move on well.
    “Ottawa shot really well, but I didn’t think we guarded them well enough to give us a chance at the end.”
    Junior Jamal Akapo and freshman Xavier Young scored 13 and 11, respectively.
    USM enters Thursday's game with a two-game losing streak, but Bishop said starting the tournament at home could help break the streak.
    "Getting a home game was big for our team, as you want as many games at home as you can get,” he said. “I don’t like the fact that we are going into the tournament losing two game in a row, but at this point it’s just a survive and advance mentality.”

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