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Men's basketball falls short in SLIAC tournament championship

Men's basketball falls short in SLIAC tournament championship

WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. - The men's basketball team fought back from a 12 point deficit to tie the SLIAC tournament championship game at 107-all with just over two minutes to play, but Webster finished the game on a 14-5 run to defeat the Panthers 121-112 and qualify for the NCAA Division III national tournament.

Webster opened with a 9-2 lead over the Panthers in the first three minutes of the game, and the Panthers faced a 24-15 deficit with 12:29 to go in the period.

Greenville went on a 12-7 run capped by a layout by Riley Simmons to cut Webster's advantage to 31-27 with 9:14 on the clock.

Webster pushed the lead to 12 points with an 8-0 stretch before a pair of free throws by Eric Williams got the Panthers back on the scoreboard and the score back to a 10 point difference.

At the conclusion of the first half, Webster was on top by a 57-46 score.

Throughout the second half, Greenville gradually chipped away at the difference.

The Panthers made it a three point game with 17:16 to go in the second half with a jumper by Sontiago Grady, capping an early 12-4 run.

The Gorloks got the lead back up to nine, but the Panthers stayed in the game, eventually bringing the score back to a one possession game at 81-78 with 10:11 to go.

The Panthers finally tied the score at 107-all but promptly committed a pair of turnovers to allow Webster to regain its control of the contest.

Marvin Bateman scored 23 points in the game to solidfy a position on the SLIAC All-Tournament team. Austyn Contreras joined Bateman as All-Tournament selections.

Simmons added 18 points, and Henry Johnson had 17 points.

Williams produced a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Dustin Bankowski and Johnson each had five assists.

The Panthers finished the season with an overall record of 14-13. They were second in the SLIAC standings and advanced to the tournament championship game for the third time in four years.