Spalding University used a late second-half charge to upend the St. Vincent College men’s basketball team, 67-63, on the final day of the College of Wooster/Van Wie-Rotary Invitational.
The loss dropped SVC to 1-4, while Spalding improved to 2-4 overall.
Freshman Ethan Dunsey scored a career-high 25 points for SVC, while classmate Dominic Jennings added 14 points. Sophomore Nelson Etuk also scored 10 points. Rookie Diego Martinez grabbed a career-best 10 rebounds and sophomore Osyon Jones narrowly missed the double-double with nine points and eight assists.
St. Vincent led for the duration of the first half. Dunsey’s layup with 16:18 left in the half ignited an 11-4 run that was capped with a Jones bucket with 12:35 left to give the Bearcats a 20-10 lead.
Spalding answered with a surge of its own. Spalding outscored SVC, 12-2, during the next six minutes to tie the game at 22-all with 6:40 left in the half. The teams shared buckets before a Jones three-pointer gave SVC a 5-point advantage, 31-26, with 1:46 left in the half. Spalding scored the final bucket of the half, a layup with 41 seconds left to send the game into the intermission with the Bearcats ahead, 31-28.
Etuk made a free throw and a layup in the first two minutes of the second half to increase SVC’s lead to 34-28, but Spalding grabbed the momentum with an 11-2 run to take a 39-36 lead with 14:30 left in regulation.
The Bearcats regained the lead with two buckets from Jennings and a jumper by Dunsey, making it a 42-40 game with 13:04 left. Dunsey hit consecutive three pointers on back-to-back trips, staking SVC to a seven-point lead, 48-41, with 10:43 to play.
The Bearcat lead eventually swelled to eight points, 55-47, on another Dunsey three-pointer with 7:13 to go. But Spalding stormed back with a 12-3 run during the next three minutes to take a 59-58 lead with a little more than five minutes left.
A driving layup by Etuk briefly gave the advantage to SVC, 60-59, with 4:03 left. Neither team scored for more than two minutes until a Spalding three-pointer off an offensive rebound put it in front, 62-60 with 1:30 remaining. A free throw from Etuk pulled the Bearcats within one point with 1:18 to go, but Spalding put the game away from the free throw line, making five freebies in the final 50 seconds to close out the win. St. Vincent shot 46% from the field (26-for-57) and went 7-of-15 from behind the arc. Spalding went 44% from the field and 3-for-10 from distance. Spalding outrebounded SVC, 39-29, and scored 17 points off of 14 St. Vincent turnovers.
Christian Stewart led Spalding with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Dunsey was added to the Van Wie-Rotary Invitational All-Tournament Team, as he averaged 14.5 points and seven rebounds in two tournament games.
SVC fell to Wooster, 75-57, in Friday’s tournament opener. SVC only trailed by one point, 33-32, through the first half, but Wooster outscored the Bearcats, 42-25, in the second half. Wooster used a 12-3 run in the opening stages of the second half to pull away from the Bearcats. Anthony Dillard led St. Vincent with 17 points and nine rebounds, while Dominic Jennings and Nelson Etuk each scored 12 points. St. Vincent limited Wooster to just 37% shooting from the floor and 17% from long range, but SVC committed 19 turnovers, which led to 21 Wooster points.
The Bearcats are back in action, 3 p.m. Saturday, when they host Waynesburg during a Presidents’ Athletic Conference matchup at the Robert S. Carey Center.