OBERLIN, Ohio – The Franciscan men's basketball team suffered a 66-51 loss to Oberlin in the opening game of the Oberlin Tip-Off Classic, Friday evening.
The Barons were led by senior Keoni Sablan with 15 points while junior Juwan Perkins and sophomore Aaron Foldi each chipped in seven off of the bench. Sophomore Matt Trent led Franciscan with eight rebounds while senior JP Dombrowski posted a pair of blocks to go with his six points and four rebounds.
The Barons and Yeomen were locked in a tight battle for most of the first half as Franciscan kept close tabs on Oberlin, trailing just 19-18 with 3:29 to play. After Jordan Armstrong hit the first of two free throws, the Yeoman went on an 11-3 run to close out the first and take a 30-21 lead into halftime.
Oberlin sandwiched a pair of jumpers around Sablan's first three-pointer of the game to open the second half and push its lead to 34-24. Sablan hit another three with 16:47 to play to cut the lead back down to three, but the Yeomen answered with a three on their next possession to keep the lead in double digits. Eli Lloyd-Silverman hit a jumper just over a minute later before Perkins hit the front end of a trip to the foul line to keep the Barons within 11 points. The Barons and Oberlin battled basket-for-basket over the next six minutes to keep the gap at 11 points as Dombrowski made a layup with 9:02 to play as the Barons trailed 48-37.
The Yeomen used a 6-3 spurt over the next four minutes to take a 15-point lead, 55-40, before sophomore Michael Mendicino drained a long three with 5:27 to play to keep Franciscan within 12, 55-43. Sophomore Josh York followed with a traditional three-point play just under a minute later to cut the deficit back down to single-digits, 55-46, with 4:45 to play. The Yeomen then used an 11-0 run to take a 64-46 lead with 1:25 to play and essentially put the game out of reach of the Barons. Foldi scored the Barons final five points of the game, capping the scoring with 18 seconds to play with a jumper with 18 seconds left to bring the score to its final, 66-51.
The Barons shot 33.9% from the field (19-for-56) while going 9-for-17 from the free throw line. Oberlin held a 41-37 advantage in rebounds.
Franciscan returns to the court tomorrow as the Barons face Earlham in the second game of the classic at 3:00 pm.