It looked like so many games Cardinal fans have seen before. Ireton works their way to a halftime lead, favored opponent regroups and roars back with a big third quarter then pulls away. Well, that played out for three quarters, but the underdogs didn’t follow the script in the final period, outscoring the undefeated regular season champion Gonzaga 21-12 to upset the favored Eagles 67-58 at Gallaudet Saturday.
Dan Noe hit 3 of his 16 points in the first period’s last seconds and Ireton held an 18-16 lead. They would outscore the Eagles 16-8 in the second quarter with a patient offense, a disciplined zone defense, and hard work on the glass.
Coming out in the third, Gonzaga stepped up their defensive pressure and went hard to the basket, resulting in a 22-12 advantage and a tie game at 46-46 heading into the game’s final period. The Ireton faithful fidged in their chairs, and the majority of fans arriving for the following games stopped their conversations and turned to the final period.
Louie Khouri opened the quarter with a three, Glover responded with a layup. The lead see sawed back and forth with neither team gaining any space, WCAC player of the year, Kris Jenkins drawing attention, missing shots and starting to foul. The game went under 2 minutes with the Cardinals grabbing a 56-54 lead. Gonzaga tied the game only to see Taylor McHugh respond with a 3.
Eagles missed two chances in close, then fouled Khouri. The senior made both and the lead was 5. Jenkins scored for Gonzaga to make it 61-58, but the Eagles would not score again as Ireton began the parade to the free throw line. Khouri corralled a long rebound with only seconds remaining and sprinted alone for the layup as the white-jerseyed regular season stood in their offensive end watching the play, their spirit apparently broken.
With Indiana’s Tom Crean in attendance, Moseh led all scorers with 20 points. The Eagles Jenkins had 18 in the loss. Khouri and Noe each had 16 points for Ireton, while McHugh had 7 and Wiley 6. Ty Quarles added a bucket. Crawford, an IU recruit, scored 16, and Blackmon contributed 10 for Gonzaga.
For Bishop Ireton, they have little time to celebrate, St Johns awaits a 4:30pm date at American University’s Bender Arena Sunday. Admission to the games is $10 per person.