WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Mount St. Joseph men's basketball team took to the hardwood for the first time in the 2018-19 season last night. They traveled north up Interstate-71 to take on the Quakers of Wilmington College. The Lions went into the game shrouded in uncertainty for this season, after losing a huge chunk of last season's HCAC championship roster. The Lions entered the game with only one returning starter from a season ago, senior Jake Cropper (Georgetown, Ohio/Georgetown).
The Lions coaching staff knew this matchup would be a tough one for the Lions. With an brand new starting backcourt, against a team that plays high-pressure defense for 40 minutes. The Mount would struggle with that pressure to the tune of 24 turnovers, which led to 27 points for the Quakers.
The Quakers jumped out to a quick lead in the game drilling four 3-point baskets in the first 2:18 seconds of the game. They would never look back, the Lions clawed back into the game on a couple of occasions. Each time the Lions seemed to be on the cusp of getting all the way back into the game, turnovers would seem to be their undoing.
Offensively the Lions shot the ball well overall, but struggled from behind the 3-point line. As the hit only 2 of their 14 (14.3 %) attempts from deep. They did do a fantastic job in the game of getting to the free-throw line, but making their free-throws was another story. As a team they only shot 59 percent (23-of-39) from the free-throw line in the game.
Cropper led the way for the Lions offensively scoring 21 points, and pulling down 7 rebounds. The only other Lion in double figures was freshman Brady Thomas (Grove City, Ohio/Bishop Ready) who had 16-points in his first ever collegiate action.
The Lions will take to the court again on Saturday, as they travel to take on No. 21 Wooster.