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Blue Streaks take a win against Wilmington into OAC Tournament

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Blue Streaks take a win against Wilmington into OAC Tournament

Jackson Sartain '21 guards a Wilmington player in a game on Feb. 16, 2019.

Jackson Sartain '21 guards a Wilmington player in a game on Feb. 16, 2019.

JCU Sports Information

Jackson Sartain '21 guards a Wilmington player in a game on Feb. 16, 2019.

JCU Sports Information

JCU Sports Information

Jackson Sartain '21 guards a Wilmington player in a game on Feb. 16, 2019.

Peter Knab, Staff Reporter

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John Carroll University men’s basketball team closed the 2018–19 season with the traditional “senior day” at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center on Feb. 16. This senior day, however, was unique. For the first time since 2014, there were no seniors on the roster to celebrate during the final home game of the season.

Lack of senior day festivities aside, the Blue Streaks came out with a scrappy effort. The Blue Streaks started out fast, with an 8-0 run. However, it did not take long for Wilmington to show why they came into the game in a battle for the top spot in the OAC.

The Quakers would go on a 17-0 run to take a five-point lead. JCU would respond with a 21-6 run of their own. The Blue Streaks took a 46-36 lead into the half, following a three-pointer at the buzzer by junior Sean Flannery.  

The Blue and Gold shot 48 percent from the field in the first half. JCU would come out strong in the second half, and increase their lead quickly to 60-42.

In the second half, sophomore Jackson Sartain set a new record for the most three-pointers made in the season, exceeding last year’s mark of 90.

Despite being down 69-51 with 11 minutes remaining, the Fightin’ Quakers kept fighting.

With four minutes left, the JCU lead dropped to 10 points, and the lead only continued to get too narrow for comfort for the Blue Streaks.

Wilmington’s Will Patrick knocked down a three with 1:20 remaining to trim the JCU lead to one possession.   

Flannery and Patrick exchanged buckets, and junior Ryan Berger then hit the most critical free throws of the game. Burger hit two free throws to extend the lead to four.

Still, Wilmington would not back down. Kevin Lewis hit a three to cut the John Carroll lead to one, with two seconds remaining.  

Berger hit another pair of critical free throws to give John Carroll the 92-89 victory.

Sartain led the way with 25 points. Jimmy Berger (13 points, 13 rebounds) and Luke Hippler (14 points, 12 rebounds) each added a double-double.

JCU heads into the OAC tournament as the six seed.

Head coach Pete Moran likes the confidence of his team entering the tournament.

”Our guys played with a championship effort. We put ourselves in a good position by out-rebounding Wilmington by 15,” Moran said. “Moving forward we know that we need to be the scrappier ball club in order to make a run this tournament. I am very proud of this team’s effort over the past several weeks. They have never thrown in the towel.”

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