Saints Drop Heartbreaker To Urban Knights In Regional
Kyle Greeley came off the bench to lead Saint Martin's with 27 points.
Kyle Greeley came off the bench to lead Saint Martin's with 27 points.

Friday, March 10, 2023

SAN DIEGO – After a close game the full 40 minutes of regulation, Saint Martin’s could get the breaks to go their way in the final five.

The No. 4 seeded Saints let the game slip away in the final minute of overtime, falling 93-89 to No. 5 seeded Academy of Art in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II West Regional at Golden Gym.

In a close game that saw 18 lead changes and 13 ties between the two teams, it was that overtime difference that made all of the difference. With the game tied 88-88, Saint Martin’s went 0 for 5 from the field and just 1 of 4 from the free-throw line while the Urban Knights went 2 for 3 from the field and 3 of 6 from the stripe.

Junior guard Kyle Greeley led all scorers in the loss with 27 points, connecting on 9 of 14 from the field, 3 of 4 from three-point range 6 of 10 from the free-throw line. Junior center Shakeem Alcindor added 14 points and nine rebounds while junior guard Tyke Thompson and senior guard Hunter Sipe each connected for 11.

Deang Deang led Academy of Art with 24 points on 8 of 11 from the field, which included four key points in the final minute to seal the win. Klay Brown finished with 22 points on 7 of 16 from the field.

With the loss, Saint Martin’s sees its season end with a 24-8 record on a night that saw three GNAC teams bow out of the regional.

Academy of Art opened the contest on a 4-0 run and went ahead 8-5 on Klay Brown’s free throw four minutes in. The Saints came back with a four-point run of its own, going up 9-8 on a pair of Greeley free throws. Saint Martin’s held the lead until midway through the period when a pair of Jamal Fuller free throws gave the Urban Knights a 16-15 edge.

The teams traded leads over the next three minutes until Academy of Art opened up its largest lead of the period, 28-22, on a Fuller three-pointer at the 5:21 mark. The Saints charged back to tie it at 36-36 on Branden Bunn’s lay-in with 1:57 left and a Greeley free throw allowed Saint Martin’s a narrow 39-38 halftime edge.

The first five minutes of the second half were close until Greeley’s three-pointer at the 15:18 mark sparked a 7-2 run, which ended on Sipe’s three-pointer with 12:51 to go that put the Saints ahead 55-50. The Saints held on to the lead for the next 10 minutes and built its largest lead of the half, 77-71, on another Sipe three-pointer with 5:10 left in the period.

Academy of Art kept its foot in the door, tying it at 80-80 on Rodney Munson’s driving lay-in with 1:23 left. The teams traded baskets on their next possessions, as well as traded misses, as regulation time ended at 82-82.

The two teams matched each other basket for basket in overtime until Deang’s lay-up with a minute left put Academy of Art up 90-88. From that point, Saint Martin’s went ice cold, going 0 for 5 from the field and 1 for 4 from the free-throw line. Deang put the game away for good with a pair of free throws with nine seconds left that dewed up the 93-89 winning margin.