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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Men’s basketball claims another victory against St. Francis 72-63

Hilltopper+Gavino+Ramos+rushes+toward+the+hoop+from+the+top+of+the+key%2C+juking+one+St.+Francis+player.+Two+more+defenders+enter+from+the+sides+to+try+and+stop+the+St.+Edwards+from+scoring.
Emilio Casanova / Hilltop Views
Hilltopper Gavino Ramos rushes toward the hoop from the top of the key, juking one St. Francis player. Two more defenders enter from the sides to try and stop the St. Edward’s from scoring.

St. Edward’s men’s basketball team snagged a victory Saturday Nov. 18 amidst fierce resistance from St. Francis with a winning score of 72-63.

Hilltopper Blake Nielsen attempts to make a basket and score. One St. Francis player leaps in the air to stop him.

The first half started strong for St. Francis, initially leading the Hilltoppers 11-4. Following a timeout, SEU struck back by repeatedly landing shots. The two teams soon became interlocked in close competition leading into the final minutes of the first half. The looming halftime was taken as a reason to up the ante, and the game grew more intense. A flurry of fouls and timeouts drew the half to a close. 

“It must have gotten rough and the ref saw and began to call more fouls,” assistant coach Steve Ayala said. “Fouls never help anybody. It really hurts whoever is in foul trouble.”

At the end of the first half, both teams remained neck and neck. St. Edwards led with 33 points, with St. Francis trailing just behind at 30 points.

During halftime, both teams stepped off the court to regroup and strategize. The Hilltoppers’ new battle plan seemed to be to take St. Francis’ team by surprise. St. Edward’s immediately took over the game’s tempo at the start of the second half, widening their lead to 49 points over St. Francis’ 39 before a timeout call at the 10:29 minute mark. From there, the gap waxed and waned in the face of St. Francis’ persistent resistance. 

Blake Nielsen applies pressure to a St. Francis player with possession of the ball.

“Offense definitely was kind of our calling card,”  Ayala said. “We have really talented players who run a lot of good stuff.”

Despite St. Francis’ attempts to regain control over the fight, the Hilltoppers’ tenacity won out, maintaining their lead and solidifying their win with a 9-point difference. Both teams battled to the end, with the court falling silent just before the sound of the final buzzer.

This is a far closer game than the two teams’ previous encounter on Nov. 16, where the Hilltoppers dominated with a score of 91-68.

“It’s hard to beat someone back to back, and especially if we beat them pretty bad,” Ayala said. “They were probably a little embarrassed and they responded. They weren’t gonna get embarrassed again. I think that that is what we saw with their effort and a lot of their physicality during the game.”

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About the Contributor
Alec Campa, Staff Writer
Alec is a senior at St. Edward’s University majoring in Video Game Development. This is his first bout as a Staff Writer and was previously an intern for Hilltop Views in the fall of 2023. When Alec’s not developing games, he enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction novels.

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