Senior Henry Smith scored a career-high 27 points and pulled down eight rebounds as the IU South Bend men's basketball team defeated the Fighting Saints from St. Francis 61-60 in a nailbiter on Saturday afternoon in CCAC Conference action. The Titans finish out the regular season at 16-14 overall and 5-5 in the CCAC.
It was a tale of two different halves. The Titans controlled the first 20 minutes of the contest as senior Henry Smith scored 10 of the Titans first 12 points. IU South Bend would take a 36-28 advantage into the break.
The Fighting Saints came out of the intermission firing on all cylinders. USF put together their own 17-2 run and that's when things got interesting.
USF built a 57-50 lead with just two minutes to go in the contest and the Titans were not going to go away easy. Steven Heatherly knocked down two consecutive 3-pointers to pull within one point at 57-56. IU South Bend tightened up the defense and after a Shane Cook 3-pointer that grazed off the rim teammate Chris Beam grabbed the offensive rebound to put the Titans up 58-57 with just sixty seconds to go. USF would come down the court and work the shot clock down as Andrew Lerg knocked down a long range 3-point field goal to put the Fighting Saints up 60-58. The Titans would come down the court as sophomore guard Chris Beam was fouled in the lane and would have two free throws coming his way. Beam came up short on both attempts but the Titans pulled down the offensive board and kicked it out to Steven Heatherly who buried the long range jumper for the Titans to go up one with in the waning seconds. USF had the ball with just 1.7 seconds left in the contest and after a full court pass and catch by the Fighting Saints, they came up just short as time expired.
Senior Henry Smith tallied 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting while teammates Steven Heatherly and Chris Beam chipped in with 12 and 11 points in the victory. Steven Heatherly scored 9 of the 11 final points for the victorious Titans and also grabbed seven rebounds. IU South Bend shot 25-of-49 (51%) on the afternoon, including 6-of-15 shots from beyond the arc.
Lukas Zebrauskas had a solid outing for USF as he went for 27 points and hauled down 7 rebounds in the loss.
IU South Bend will return to action on Tuesday, February 28, when they will open CCAC Conference Tournament action as they host the University of St. Francis. Tip-time is set for 7:00 EST.