SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – The fourth-seeded Spring Arbor University men’s basketball team defeated fifth-seeded University of Saint Francis 79-68 in the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinals.

It was the second time in five days that the Cougars took down No. 16 ranked USF after posting a 67-59 victory in the regular season finale on Saturday.

Paul Marandet led the way for the Cougars on Wednesday night with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds while Jeff Beckman notched his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

With the win, SAU advances to the tournament semifinals where they will meet the league’s regular season champions, and No. 3 ranked, Indiana Wesleyan University on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 3 p.m.

 

THE BASICS

FINAL SCORE: No. 24 Spring Arbor 79, No. 16 Saint Francis 68

LOCATION: McDonald Athletic Center | Spring Arbor, Mich.

RECORDS: Spring Arbor 20-11, Saint Francis 20-11

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Saint Francis raced out to a 12-4 lead in the first six minutes of action. The visitors would also hold a 27-20 advantage with 6:35 left in the opening period.
  • Trailing by one in the closing seconds of the first half, Payton DeWildt was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with three seconds left on the clock. DeWildt would make two out of three from the charity stripe to give SAU a 36-35 lead at halftime.
  • The score was tied 50-50 at the 10:43 mark of the second half when Denver Cade knocked down a triple and the Cougars would never trail again.
  • Moments later, Luke Barber would hit from long range. The shot ignited a 13-3 Cougar run – which was capped by another Cade 3-pointer – and SAU would cruise to their 20th win victory of the season.

 

FOR SPRING ARBOR

  • Marandet finished with a game-high 21 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds.
  • Beckman turned in a double-double performance with 15 points and 10 boards.
  • Brandon Durnell, Barber and DeWildt all tallied 11 points. Durnell also added seven rebounds and six helpers.
  • Spring Arbor shot 53 percent (27-for-51) on the night and 47 percent (9-for-19) from 3-point range.

 

FOR SAINT FRANCIS

  • Four Saint Francis players recorded double-digit points. Jalan Mull had a team-high 12 and was followed by 11 from Lance Dollison.
  • USF, one of the league’s highest scoring teams, was held to 68 points on 39 percent (22-for-56) shooting.

 

UP NEXT

Spring Arbor will travel to Marion, Indiana to take on No. 3 Indiana Wesleyan (27-4) in the Crossroads League Tournament Semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 3 p.m.