KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A historic season by Benedictine came to an end in a truly remarkable fashion in an 83-79 double overtime loss to Pikeville on Friday night at Municipal Auditorium in the Sweet 16 round of the NAIA Basketball Championship.
Despite the crushing defeat, coach Ryan Moody remained upbeat in reflection of the terrific game it was.
“We haven’t lost a lot this year so it stings,” Moody said. “But these guys are tough and that is one of the best basketball games I’ve ever been a part of and if you’re going to lose you’ll lose like that I guess.”
The Ravens had trailed by as much as 15 in the second half but mustered a valiant effort to make the game an instant classic.
Moody praised this group for the determination and grit they showed in not only this game, but the whole season.
“They are never out of a fight,” Moody said. “They’ve got great chemistry and great attitudes. We want to enjoy this season and we won’t hang our heads.”
Benedictine had a good attempt in the first overtime with the score at 72-72 when sophomore Jaiden Bristol dribbled to the basket for a shot but was blocked with seconds remaining.
The Ravens did have some shooting woes in the first half, going 27 percent from the field and 15 percent from beyond the arc.
Those problems put them behind 33-22 heading into halftime.
Moody said that at this point of the season shooting problems will eventually show up but the Benedictine offense did improve as the game went on.
“We’re not trying to miss but guys are tired,” Moody said. “I thought we got better at shot selection as the game went on as far as the shots we were getting.”
Junior Colby Nickels had one of his best performances of the season, leading the team in points with 20 and also grabbing eight rebounds.
The junior was also upbeat when thinking back to the season and the bond this group have cultivated.
“We’re super proud and none of us are hanging our heads,” Nickels said. “We’ve come so far and we’ve come together as a group.”