Six Griffins Reach Double-Figures In Victory Over Eureka

Photo credit: Ann Schmerbauch
Photo credit: Ann Schmerbauch

ST. LOUIS, Mo.—The Fontbonne University men's basketball team snapped its six-game slide with an offensive outburst in its 105-96 win over Eureka.

The Griffins (5-9; 3-4 SLIAC), tied its season-high with 41 made field goals and finished with a 55.4 field goal percentage. It's the third straight game the Griffins have shot at least 51.0 percent from the floor.

Individually, Gus Kleekamp set a career-high after going 11-of-16 from the floor and 7-of-7 from the charity stripe to finish with a game-high 29 points. Jalen Wadlington got his first start on the year and came through with a career-high 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting.

Jared Woodcock ended with 19, while Carter Otwell, Anthony Jones, and Shawn Leonard had 10 points each, which are new career-high marks for Jones and Leonard.

The Red Devils (3-10; 2-5 SLIAC), shot 52.9 percent overall and they got a 29-point performance out of Dakota Bennington on 12-of-17 shooting. Hank Thomas also had a strong game with 26 points and handed out nine assists.

In the first half, the Griffins opened with an 11-7 lead on Alex Movila's dunk at the 17:04 mark. At 12:49, the Red Devils took a 21-18 lead on Jordan Dehm's jumper.

The Griffins, tough answered with a 7-0 run over the next two minutes and 29 seconds to take the 25-21 advantage after Wadlington scored the put-back. The team went on to expand its lead out to 34-24 on Jones' made jumper.

The Red Devils continued to chip away and got the deficit down to two on multiple occasions as the clocked ticked away. With 1:14 to go, the Griffins owned a 50-45 lead on Otwell's made 3-pointer.

The team looked to take its five-point lead going into the break, but Kleekamp forced a steal with 1.0 second left and scored prior to the horn sounding to put the home team on top, 52-45.

Both teams had its offenses going in the first half with Eureka shooting 54.8 percent, while the Griffins shot 51.2. Bennington led all scorers at the time with a game-high 18 points.

In the second half, both offenses stayed hot with Eureka connecting on 51.4 of its attempts from the field, while Fontbonne upped its percentage to 60.6.

The Red Devils were down 58-51 with 17:24 left on Bennington's made jumper. Fontbonne answered with an 8-0 run in one minute and 14 seconds after Kleekamp earned the old-fashioned 3-point play.

Five minutes later, Kleekamp gave Fontbonne its largest lead of the game (75-57) as he made his layup. Eureka kept battling, however, and its efforts were paying off as they trailed 94-90 on Bennington's layup with 3:05 left.

The Griffins kept its composure going 6-of-9 from the line and 2-of-2 from the field which allowed them to go on for the nine-point win.

The team returns to action at home on Saturday afternoon against Iowa Wesleyan. Tip-off goes up at 3 p.m.

Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the men's basketball team.

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