11.23.13 MEN'S BASKETBALL: Second-Half Surge Puts Cavs Past Pumas

Men's Basketball, 2013-11-23

(RENSSELAER, Ind.) – Seven Cavaliers scored in double-figures as Walsh used a second half surge to defeat St. Joseph’s College 102-91 at Alumni Fieldhouse Saturday. Despite being down for almost the entire first half, the Cavaliers (3-0) managed to square even with the Pumas (1-3) 49-49 by halftime.

Both teams battled back and forth in the first four minutes of the second half, but after the Pumas’ David Hill scored on a layup to make the score 56-52 with 17:16 left, Walsh went on a tear via a 10-0 run over the next 75 seconds.

The rally was ignited by Hrvoje Vucic (Sr., 7-1, Split, Croatia/Faust Vrancic/Valparaiso), who answered SJC’s previous score with a three-pointer to pull the Cavs within one. Brad DuPont (Sr., 6-0, Massillon, OH/Jackson) also poured in a trey 23 seconds later to give Walsh the lead.  Davonte Beard  (Jr., 6-2, Akron, OH/SVSM) then made the score 60-56 on a layup before Jesse Hardin (So., 6-1, Warren, OH/Harding) capped the run with a steal and dunk to give Walsh a six-point lead with 16:01 to play.

St. Joseph’s was forced to call a time out, but the damage had been done and momentum was clearly on the Cavaliers’ side. The closest the Pumas could get the rest of the way was three points shortly after, but Walsh eventually pushed its lead to 15 after a jumper by Trey Fletcher (Fr., 6-6, Ironton, OH/HS) with 7:13 to go.

While the Pumas have been known for their fast offense early in the season, it was the Cavaliers’ attack that was the story of the game. Overall Walsh shot 59.7 percent from the floor on 40-of-67 shooting. The Cavs were made eight 3-pointers in the game and were 6-of-10 from there in the second half. Vucic headed the charge with 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting with a pair of three’s. He also added eight rebounds, four assists, and a block to his line on the afternoon. Hardin finished with 17 points and seven boards.

Walsh’s bench also had a fantastic day as Fletcher scored 16 points, Chall Montgomery (So., 6-4, Cleveland, OH/Central Catholic) scored 15 points, and Zac Carter (Fr., 5-9, Ironton, OH/HS) scored 11 points. Beard was a rebound away from a double-double with 12 points and nine boards. Jeff Copeland (Jr., 6-5, Toledo, OH/St. John’s Jesuit) rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 markers.

The Cavaliers are now off for Thanksgiving break and will return to action on Thursday, Dec. 5, when they travel to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to take on Northern Michigan. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

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