- Score: Assumption 77, American International 72
- Record: Assumption (3-10, 3-5 NE10), American International (7-8, 1-6 NE10)
- Location: Springfield, Mass.
The Lead: Assumption used a 14-2 run late in regulation to turn a deficit into a seven-point lead and then went 6-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 40 seconds hold off American International and earn a crucial conference road victory, 77-72, on Wednesday evening.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Neither team could gain much of an advantage over the first 11 minutes, before six straight by the Yellow Jackets gave them an 18-13 lead at 6:56. Assumption pulled even with a run of its own and tied the game 21 apiece on two free throws by Marcus Murray (Washington, D.C. / John F. Kennedy) with 4:17 left. It was back-and-forth the rest of the way, and an Austin Kearney (Monroeville, N.J. / Gloucester County Christian) layup with 14 seconds remaining provided a 28-27 lead at the break.
- Just 3:12 into the second half, a Justin Tuckson (Stafford, Va. / Christ Chapel Academy) triple pushed Assumption in front 39-35, however, AIC responded with a 10-2 run for a 45-41 lead at 14:42. Seven minutes later, the Hounds trailed 58-53, before a Karl Ziegler (Annandale, Va. / Annandale) jumper made it a three-point game. That jumpstarted a 14-2 run and Assumption eventually pushed its way to a 67-60 lead on a layup by Ziegler with just 3:05 left.
- AIC tried to close the gap, but Declan Soukup (Melbourne, Australia / Hallam Senior College) made a free throw and then a clutch three-pointer from the wing with 1:02 left for a 71-64 advantage. The Yellow Jackets scored on its next three possessions, but four straight free throws by Assumption kept it 75-68. The Hounds then went 6 of 8 from the free throw line in the last 38 seconds to hold off AIC for the 77-72 win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Assumption shot 46.3 percent from the floor and 8 of 20 from downtown, while AIC made 43.5 percent of its shots and was just 6 of 24 (25%) from beyond the arc.
- The Hounds were outrebounded 39-31 but committed just 11 turnovers while forcing 14 to snap an eight-game losing streak.
- Murray posted a team-high 22 points with six assists and three steals while Ziegler provided 18 points and seven rebounds. Soukup added 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.
- Rasheed Howard paced AIC with 15 points, six rebounds and one block.
- Assumption returns to action on Saturday when the team squares off against Le Moyne at 2 pm on the road.