CHICAGO, Ill. – Survive and advance is a popular saying during postseason play and the Indiana University South Bend men's basketball team did just that on Saturday as they sank the No. 3 seed in semi-final round of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament by a score of 71-69.
The game was a back-and-forth affair the entire way as it came down to the final two seconds to determine the winner. After SXU knotted the game at 69 with 31 seconds left in regulation the Titans got the ball with the shot clock off and a chance to win the game. After nearly turning the ball over head coach Scott Cooper took a timeout with three seconds on the clock to draw up the final play. Senior Riley Stichter caught the ball took a dribble and drained a fade away jumper to send the Titans to the CCAC Championship game.
Stichter finished the game with a double-double scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
SXU came out and took an early 7-1 lead but the Titans went on a 14-2 run including four 3's to take a six point lead five minutes into the contest. The Cougras regained the lead with just over nine minutes left in the half and would maintain the lead until Stichter evened the game at 30 with a pair of free throws to close out the first half.
With 10:04 left to play Javonte Young buried a triple to put the Titans back on top. Young finished with a team-high 21 points.
SXU pulled ahead by six points with just over four minutes to play but the Titans came clawing back with an 8-0 run to take a two point advantage. Jeremy Jones accounted for five of the eight points during the run.
Both teams traded baskets in the final 1:13 but it was Stichter who hit the dagger putting the Titans up two with .24 second on the clock and no time for the Cougars to get a shot off.
The Titans will travel to Robert Morris on Tuesday to play for the CCAC Tournament crown and an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament. Visit www.iusbtitans.com for tip-off time.