Liberal, KS

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Saints Drop Fifth Straight

Brock Kappelmann - February 11, 2024 9:09 am

Jay Daubenberger

Liberal, Kansas – The past few weeks have been a downslope for the Saints basketball team and their slide continued Saturday as they faced off against the Coffeyville Red Ravens where despite being able to match them point for point and even taking a late lead midway through the second half, a big run from Coffeyville handed Seward County their fifth straight loss 90-79.

The first half of action was a back-and-forth affair between the Saints and Red Ravens as Lovasoa Andriatsarafara opened the game with a strong score in the paint followed by a knockdown triple from Carson Bennett gave SCCC a small 5-3 lead a minute into the game. Ryle Riddlespurger entered the game after the under 16:00 media timeout and did what he is known for doing best by sinking two straight triples from the parking lot to keep the lead alive 17-15. The Saints’ advantage didn’t last long however as the Red Ravens went on an 11-0 run to push ahead 34-24 over Seward County until Big Lova found Amir Whitlock on the top of the arc for a triple to cut the deficit back to single digits. Coffeyville maintained a strong grip on their advantage against SCCC but two quick scores from Mathias M’Madi in the final minute of the half gave Seward County a fighting chance as they entered the halftime break trailing 43-35.

The Saints opened the second half the exact same way as they started the first with Big Lova scoring down low with Bennett sinking his second three of the contest to remain within eight. Two fastbreak scores by Dave Olaniyi helped Seward County slash the Red Ravens’ lead in half while another putback score by Big Lova brought it all the way down to two entering the first media timeout of the second half. Bennett’s third three of the afternoon tied the score up at 57-57 while four straight made shots at the free throw line for M’Madi propelled the green and white to a 61-57 lead. Olaniyi took pride on his defense with two quick steals that both led to fastbreak layups for the freshman guard to keep their lead intact with under eight minutes remaining but a late scoring run by Coffeyville put Seward County in the rearview mirror as they were unable to match the Red Ravens run. Another long range shot from Bennett late in the half was able to keep the score within ten and a final basket by Whitlock made it respectable as the final score read 90-79 with Coffeyville grabbing the win over the Saints.

M’Madi led all scorers with 23 points for Seward County while Whitlock recorded a double double of 12 points and 11 rebounds on the afternoon. Bennett’s four threes led him to finish with 14 while Olaniyi (13) and Riddlespurger (10) also reached the double figures scoring mark.

The Saints now fall to a 6-17 overall record in the 2023-24 season with a conference record of 4-13 which puts them at the eleventh seed in the Jayhawk standings. They will look to turn their luck around as they take on the Barton Cougars in Great Bend on Wednesday with a 7:30 tipoff scheduled on 107.5.


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