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Saints lose to Titans, fall to 1-3

Following a 79-72 Nov. 4 loss to Goshen College the Saints looked to rebound at home against Indiana University-South Bend. The Saints returned to McKenna Arena looking to return to .500 on the season and capture their first victory since Oct. 31 versus East-West University. The game also represented the inaugural conference matchup for the Saints, with pressure mounting to make a statement as a brutal slate of games begins.

The Saints and Titans both opened up hot, running coordinated and organized offenses that thwarted the opposing defense with ease. The Saints experienced early offensive success, thanks in no part to discipline from the players on the floor. They shot 44.4% from the field and a remarkable 33.3% from three in the first half of play. The Titans mostly matched the elite play of the Saints, however. The competitive and aggressive first half ended with the Saints barely ahead at 32-30.

The second half opened with more disciplined and direct play from the Saints, as they hoped to put IU-SB away and repel the Titans’ fervent defense. Despite some shoddy rotations and with a bit of luck, the Titans were allowed to stay in the game. The Saints’ offense continued to hum about, but was thwarted by a poor shooting performance from the three-point range.

The Saints could only manage a 16.7% mark from the line, allowing an opportunistic and unrelentingly committed Titans team back into the game. Deflated, the Saints allowed a motivated Titans squad to take the lead, grabbing their third win of the season with a score of 72-58.

The Saints shot an efficient 46.2% from the field for the game. But they only sunk four three-pointers and six free throws. The Saints recorded the same amount of rebounds (29) as the Titans. But the Titans overpowered them on defense, posting ten steals to the Saints’ four. Tommy Snyder, a freshman forward from South Bend, had an excellent game for the Saints. Snyder went 8-11 from the field, adding eight rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes of hard-fought play.

The Saints and Coach Mike McBride have now fallen to 1-3 on the season and are 0-1 in conference play. In his 10th season of heading the Saints’ ship, Coach McBride hopes to rebound this Saturday and next Wednesday at home against Saint Xavier University and Governors State University, respectively.

Contact Adam Akan at aakan@nd.edu.