Louisville, Ky. - Fontbonne University men's basketball can breathe a sigh of release after a very tense victory at Spalding University tonight. The Griffins held off the Golden Eagles within the final minute and 15 seconds to snap a nine-game losing streak by a score of 64-61. Spalding falls to 0-7 in conference as Fontbonne is now 2-12 on the year.
Fontbonne jumped out to a 23-4 before leading 38-24 at halftime. Spalding retaliated with 12 straight points after the break to pull with two of the visiting Griffins. After a timeout the Griffins were able to stop the Golden Eagles' scoring streak when Trey Watkins secured a layup. The two teams transferred points back and forth until Spalding took a 45-44 lead with 10:25 to play.
The hosts led by five points with 3:52 remaining when the Griffins made their mark and scored six unanswered points to regain the lead. A Spalding layup gave them control once more, but only briefly as James Wiggins gave Fontbonne a one-point lead with 1:15 to play. Tyler Schwartz stole the ball from the Golden Eagles but missed the layup. Kris McCann gathered the offensive board and layup to give Fontbonne a little breathing room. They would hold onto the lead for the remainder of the contest and their first victory in over a month.
During the second half, Nick Trisko and James Turner combined for 26 of Spalding's 37 points. Turner finished with the game-high 27 points off the bench, sinking all nine free throw attempts and eight buckets which included two three's. Trisko finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Junior Jack Lake led Fontbonne with 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and three blocks. The double-double was just the second of his career (in as many games) as he reigned in 12 defensive boards. The other big on the team, senior Jeff Smith recorded 14 points and four rebounds in just 18 minutes of play. The two forwards combined for 10 buckets on 16 attempts and went 8-of-11 at the charity stripe.
As a team, Fontbonne shot a season-high 46.2% in the field.
Fontbonne is attempting to host Iowa Wesleyan at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 14th, although ice may be in the forcast. The Griffins will then host Webster and Westminster next week.