By Jeremy Wright
Sports Information Assistant
The Lions basketball team (3-3,1-0 AMC) earned one of its biggest wins early on in the year when they defeated No. 24 Park University (5-1,1-1) 74-63 in its AMC opener on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions got off to a slow start as Park would go up 7-0 early on until the teams started trading buckets over the next three minutes. The Pirates would then go on a run to make it 23-13 with 12 minutes left in the first half.
The Lions would notch a 10-0 run out of a timeout to tie the game, and Freed-Hardeman would take the lead 29-28 in the first half and never trail again. They went into halftime leading 42-32 thanks to senior Bryan Battle who hit a 3-pointer, converted an And-1 and added a layup down the stretch.
To start the second half, Park scored the first five points, but the Lions would respond and stretch the lead back to 10. Park would cut the lead to one point before Konstantin Dotsenko drilled a huge three that would propel the Lions to the finish line and hand Park their first loss. Freed-Hardeman would finish Park off at the free-throw line en route to the 11-point win.
Defense and rebounding were strong for the Lions, especially down the stretch. The Lions forced the Pirates to turn the ball over 18 times with 12 steals, and they out-rebounded Park 34-25, 9-4 on offensive rebounds. They were able to hold Park to 34 percent shooting in the second half and 20 percent from deep for the game.
Battle notched 21 points, six boards and five steals on the day. Kortland Martin also added 17 points of his own, along with Dotsenko, who had 13 points. John Musselwhite had 10.
The Lions will be back in action November 30 at Christian Brothers. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.