Bryce Lienhoop had made only one 3-pointer in four years of college basketball, but with St. Francis’ lead slipping away Sunday afternoon, he was right on the money.
The Columbus East graduate buried a step-back 3-pointer from the top of the key with the shot clock running out to increase the seventh-ranked Cougars’ lead against No. 2 Cornerstone from eight to 11 points with 1:23 remaining.
Lienhoop’s basket essentially put the game away and sent St. Francis into Monday night’s NAIA Division II semifinals with a 90-79 victory.
“I know I didn’t really have time to think about,” Lienhoop told saintfranciscougars.com. “I had to get it off because the shot clock was about to run out. I don’t think (the coaches) want me taking 3s on a regular basis. Thankfully, it went in.”
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St. Francis (28-8) was to face No. 3 College of Idaho in Monday’s late semifinal in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The championship game will be at 7 p.m. today on ESPN3.
Lienhoop finished with team highs of 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists in only 21 minutes of action Sunday. He went 8 of 12 from the field, hitting his lone 3-point attempt, and 6 of 8 from the free-throw line.
Evan Henry, a senior from Columbus North, added three points and a steal for the Cougars. He went 1 of 2 from the field and 1 of 2 from the free-throw line.
North grad leads Bucs
Sawyer Glick scored 22 points Sunday to lead Barry University to an 89-64 rout of Claflin in the NCAA Division II South Regional semifinals.
The Bucs (22-8), who advance to play Eckerd in the regional final at 7 p.m. today in Atlanta, led Claflin by double digits five minutes into the game.
“I think it definitely puts some pressure on the other guys, definitely gets us going,” Glick, a junior from Columbus North, told gobarrybucs.com.
Glick went 7 of 14 from the field, including 6 of 11 from 3-point range, and 2 of 2 from the free-throw line and had three rebounds, three assists and a steal in a team-high 33 minutes of action. His brother, junior Kooper Glick, added six points, a rebound, two assists and a team-high four steals in 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, Bellarmine saw its NCAA Division II title hopes come to an end Sunday with a 74-73 loss to Findlay in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Big Rapids, Michigan. Parker Chitty, a sophomore from Columbus East, hit his only field goal attempt for the Knights (29-3) and finished with two points and a steal in 14 minutes.
Catamounts make NIT
Vermont didn’t make the NCAA Division I Tournament like it did last season, but the Catamounts did get an NIT bid.
Vermont will play at 8 p.m. today at Middle Tennessee. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Josh Speidel, a redshirt-freshman from Columbus North, is a member of the Catamounts team, but is unable to play while recovering from a traumatic brain injury suffered in a Feb. 1, 2015 auto accident.