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MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL Westminster can't avoid letdown in loss to Thiel



Published: Thu, February 10, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Titans fell behind early, rallied, but fell in overtime.

GREENVILLE - After an overtime victory last Saturday, Westminster College coach Larry Ondako was worried about a letdown by his club.

After all, the Titans (14-8, 4-3) were playing at Beeghly Gymnasium, a tough place for any visiting team.

Following 45 minutes of frantic basketball, Ondako's concern turned out to be well-founded, as the Titans fell to Thiel, 119-114 in overtime.

"Give Thiel credit. They played a great game," said Ondako. "I talked to the kids for two days about being ready to play, but I guess they didn't hear me. They were flat right from the start and I guess maybe it was because some of them thought they could come up here and win easily.

"We talked a lot about respect, but I guess that went in one ear and out the other. You can't show up on a team's home floor and play like we did and expect to win a basketball game."

Slow start

The opening 10 minutes were anything but good for Westminster, who thrives on a high-powered offense.

Trailing by as many as 10 points (28-18) with six minutes remaining in the half, the Titans battled back to take a 35-32 lead before Thiel regained the advantage, 43-41, at halftime.

The Tomcats (5-17, 1-6 Presidents' Athletic Conference) stretched their lead to as many as 16 points with nine minutes remaining in the game, but the Titans battled back to lead by four inside the final minute.

"You just can't show up and play eight minutes of basketball and expect to win," said Ondako. "I was very, very disappointed, especially with the upperclassmen. They didn't show up to play and that bothers me, but credit our freshmen for keeping us in the game. The only problem is you don't win conference titles with freshmen."

The Tomcats, on a 3-point shot at the buzzer by Joe Herrmann, tied the score at 99-all and sent the game to overtime.

Herrmann has double-double

Herrmann scored another four in overtime to finish with 44 points. He completed a double-double with 12 rebounds.

"I have to give a lot of credit for what I did tonight to Daryl Moore," Herrmann said. "It was just a good team effort by everybody on the floor. They are a great team and they made a great comeback on us. We just played tough when we needed to and came away with the victory.

"Coach [Mike Snell] told me to just keep attacking the bucket," Herrmann said. "The other guys just happened to get the ball to me in the right spot and I was fortunate to convert a lot of the chances."

Moore tossed in 26 points, while Brad Bowman (Ursuline) added 15, Ross Watson had 14 and Damien Williams added 10.

For the Titans, Nick DiNatale led the way with 24 points, while Ed Pagley (New Castle) finished with 23 and Dom Joseph (New Castle) had 16.




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