KINGSPORT, Tenn. — The St. Andrews University men’s basketball team saw its season come to an end Wednesday at the hands of Truett-McConnell College (Ga.), as the Bears ousted the Knights with a 72-71 win in the opening round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament
St. Andrews’ Jibri Banner had a chance to tie the game at 71-all after sinking a layup while drawing a foul, but he missed the opportunity from the charity stripe. Truett-McConnell split a pair of free throws to make it a two-point game, then St. Andrews’ Lee Vanderhorst was sent to the free-throw line with 4.5 seconds left. Vanderhorst, like Banner, only converted one of two shots, costing the Knights a chance to send it into overtime.
Truett-McConnell (10-20) stormed out of the gate early, draining four 3-pointers to open up a 12-point early advantage, but St. Andrews closed the cap to 30-28 at halftime. The Bears led by as much as 15 with 12:42 to play, but the Knights again rallied and made it a one possession game before faltering at the end.
St. Andrews forward Jeff Gulley paced the team with a double-double, recording 22 points and 11 rebounds. Guards Titus and Vanderhorst added 14 and 15 points respectively. Banner chipped in a team-best six assists with seven points.
The Knights connected on 44 percent of their shots from the field and 39 percent from beyond the arc. The Bears only hit 40 of their attempts but made 11 3-pointers.
This is the second straight year St. Andrews (9-17) has lost in the first round of the conference tournament. Truett-McConnell will face top-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan College (27-2) in the quarterfinals today at 8:30 a.m.