Cougar Basketball Game Recap
No. 24 Saint Francis Scorches the Nets in
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (2-18-2012) - The Mount
Vernon Nazarene University men's basketball
team saw why the University of Saint Francis
(Ind.) has been in the NAIA Division II
national championship game the past two
seasons as the Cougars fell 94-66 in
Mid-Central College Conference action in the
Physical Education Center to close out the
season with NAIA Division II No. 24 Saint
Francis hitting 60.3 percent of its shots
from the field in the process.
the host Cougars scored the first basket of
the game on a jumper by senior guard Robbie
Taylor just 20 seconds in, Saint Francis
(19-11, 10-8 MCC) used a 12-2 run to build a
12-4 lead by the 17:11 mark. Seth Small
drilled a pair of 3-pointers to fuel the
MVNU closed the gap to
20-17 on a three-point play by sophomore
wing Austin Semple with 13:47 left in the
half, but Saint Francis would then go on to
score the next 15 points of the game to move
in front 35-17 at the 9:05 mark on a trey by
Taylor and junior guard
Ben Severns each drained a 3-pointer and
senior forward Danil Zakhlebnyy and senior
post Josh Weikart each added a layup as a
10-0 run by the Cougars closed the gap to
35-27 with 7:14 remaining in the first half.
From there, MVNU was able to stay within
striking distance at the break as the
Cougars traded points with Saint Francis as
they went to the locker room trailing 51-42.
Taylor poured in 15 first-half points to
lead MVNU, while Weikart added eight points.
Zakhlebnyy and sophomore wing Austin Semple
also contributed seven points apiece. The
Cougars shot 54.8 percent from the field
(17-for-31), 45.5 percent from 3-point range
(5-for-11), and 100 percent at the free
throw line (3-for-3).
Saint Francis with 19 points and six
rebounds, while Q Owens added 16 points and
four assists. The visiting Cougars shot 59.4
percent from the field (19-for-32), 45.5
percent from 3-point range (5-for-11), and
88.9 percent at the charity stripe
(8-for-9). Saint Francis also held a 17-11
within nine points on three occasions in the
first four minutes of the second half, but
Saint Francis rattled off eight unanswered
points to push the lead to 65-48 with 14:34
left in the game.
From that point on,
the Cougars were unable to get any closer
than 13 points the rest of the way. Trailing
75-62 with 7:55 to go, Saint Francis closed
the game on a 19-4 run as the 94-66 final
score also was its biggest lead of the game.
Taylor finished with 20 points, four
assists, and three steals in his final
appearance in an MVNU uniform as he led the
Cougars in scoring. Semple added 17 points,
Zakhlebnyy contributed 12 points in his
final game, and Weikart scored a career-high
10 points as he made just the second start
of his career. MVNU shot 44.8 percent from
the field (26-for-58), 33.3 percent from
3-point range (7-for-21), and 100 percent
from the free throw line (7-for-7).
Owens led all scorers with 30 points for
Saint Francis as he went 10-for-13 from the
field and also dished out five assists.
Dawson finished with 27 points and 12
rebounds, and Scott Kohne contributed 13
points and nine rebounds. Saint Francis shot
60.3 percent from the field (35-for-58),
42.1 percent from 3-point range (8-for-19),
and 80 percent from the free throw line
(16-for-20). The visiting Cougars also held
a 36-22 rebounding advantage.
some good things today in spots, but Saint
Francis is battle-tested having won a
national championship and been runner-up the
past two years," said MVNU coach Matt Moore.
"They understand how to grind things out and
I felt they hurt us with the number of
rebounds they scored off of at the offensive
"I am very proud of what Josh,
Danil, and Robbie have done for our program
and the mark they leave behind," Moore
added, referring to his three seniors. "I
look forward to taking a few days to reflect
and assess the areas we need to improve on
to put ourselves in a position to be back in
the mix for the start of next season."
The Cougars finished the season with a
9-21 overall record and a 3-15 MCC mark.