News Photo
84
VS
82
(4)Rochester College
St. Ambrose
Men's Basketball - Sun, Feb. 12, 2017

The most challenging week of the season ended with an 84-82 loss to No. 4 Rochester (Mich.) Sunday afternoon in Gary, Ind.

Over the span of five days, the Bees played three teams ranked inside the NAIA's top-13 nationally. And although St. Ambrose lost all three (104-94 to No. 13 Trinity International Wednesday, 99-74 to No. 8 Robert Morris Saturday), the week shows how deceptive SAU's 8-19 record is.

Sunday's two-point loss was another in a series of missed opportunities this season as Lee Hardrick's last-second shot was off the mark.

The Bees battled back from a double-digit second-half deficit to take a 76-74 lead on an Eric Dust jumper with 4:42 to play. SAU maintained a 78-77 advantage on a Dedric Byrd jumper with 3:25 left.

But Rochester, a team that defeated St. Ambrose 77-51 in Mid-November, answered with five straight points to pull ahead 82-78. 

Two Tyler Hilby free throws with 1:56 to go trimmed the margin back to two before the Warriors (27-1) scored inside to go back up by four. A Dust jumper, which capped his 22-point afternoon, pulled the Bees to within 84-82 with 1:25 left.

After giving up an offensive rebound, St. Ambrose got a stop and Hilby grabbed the board, giving the Bees a final shot to tie. But Hardrick's final attempt didn't fall.

Dust's 22 points led the team. Greg Wagner and Kain Arthofer each scored 15 points. Byrd finished with 10.

SAU out-shot (54.7 percent to 46.2 percent) and out-rebounded (36-24) Rochester but was hurt by 18 turnovers.

The Bee seniors will be recognized on Senior Night Wednesday when St. Ambrose hosts Saint Xavier at 7:30 p.m.