Former Shiners lead Mount St. Joseph’s to first Heartland Conference Tourney title

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The Mount St. Joseph men’s basketball team clinched the program’s first ever trip to the NCAA Div. III Basketball Tournament with a thrilling 93-88 victory again Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Sunday afternoon. The Mount rallied from down 12 with 3:28 to play before taking a two point lead in the closing minute. Rose-Hulman tied the game on a layup with three seconds remaining to force overtime.

Rising Sun’s Toby Carrigan is in his fifth season as head coach and shared the regular season conference title for the second straight year. His 19-7 overall and 14-4 conference record a year ago were records for the most wins at the Ohio school.

Travis Combs led the Lions with 26 points and seven rebounds while senior Femi Thompson dropped in 18 points. South Dearborn graduate Joel Scudder had four steals. Thompson and Scudder earned All-HCAC Tournament Team honors and Combs was named tournament Most Valuable Player.

They defeated Transylvania 71 to 65 to advance to the conference finals. Carrigan had served as an assistant for nine seasons before coming to Mount St. Joesph.

This season the Lions were picked number one in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) pre-season poll.

Brandon Turner (a 2013 Rising Sun High School player) serves as student coach.

The Lions (18-9) play Hope College (23-3) on Friday. A victory would put them up against the winner of No. 1 ranked Augustana (26-!) versus Westminster (12-15).