2009
Heart Attack! Eagles clinch share of title on Valentine's Day

Heart Attack! Eagles clinch share of title on Valentine's Day
February 14, 2009

Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
(630) 829-6143
dbeyer@ben.edu

It couldn't be called the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre," but Benedictine University's 81-71 win at Milwaukee, Wis., on Saturday was - at the very least - a fatal blow to Wisconsin Lutheran College's hopes for a Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) regular season championship. The win improved the Eagles to 16-7 overall and 11-4 in the NAC South. It was Benedictine's seventh-consecutive win and clinched no worse than a share of the NAC South Division title for the Eagles. Benedictine still must face rival Aurora University - which is one of two teams tied for second place a game behind the Eagles - at the Rice Center at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 17, with a chance to claim the crown outright. Wisconsin Lutheran College, which had been a part of a three-way logjam in second, dropped two games off the lead with just one contest left to play. Saturday's matchup against Benedictine came down to a "must-win" for the Warriors if they wanted to contend for the regular season championship. Benedictine found itself trailing the host WLC team for most of the first half. Neither team was able to pull away in the first half and the largest lead was an early six-point advantage by the Warriors. WLC led 38-33 at the half. The second half opened with the Eagles igniting an assault that turned the tide of the game. Four different BU players scored as Benedictine opened the half on a 6-0 run to take its first lead - 39-38 after a steal and dunk by Cameron Snelling - since midway through the first stanza. It would be the first of an eventual seven lead changes, along with six ties, in the second period alone. Benedictine fired on all cylinders in the second half as Jared Bailey poured in 16 of his game-high 23 points. Bailey also had five rebounds and four assists. Snelling finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, including several clutch baskets to keep the Eagles close. Teammate Michael Fahey had 10 points, despite getting into foul trouble midway through the second period. Travis Wilson pulled down eight rebounds and added seven points off the BU bench. A.J. Brown grabbed seven rebounds as the Eagles held a commanding 48 to 27 margin on the glass. It was a Wilson three-point basket at 6:18 left in the game that put some distance between the Eagles and Warriors. Bailey's trey a couple minutes earlier gave BU the lead it would never relinquish.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.