College Basketball: Lewis turns back St. Francis
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media December 8, 2012 10:38PM
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:33AM
Lewis guard Jeff Jarosz weaved his way to the basket for 10 points early in the second half Saturday night, reigniting the Flyers’ offense and spearheading an 83-71 victory over local rival St. Francis in Romeoville.
Jarosz got Lewis back on track after a sluggish finish to the first half and teammates Ryan Jackson, Kyle Nelson and Brad Foster provided key points to keep the Flyers on top for the rest of the physical contest between the neighborhood schools.
“I got to the basket with good looks,’’ Jarosz said. “We got a big speech at halftime. Coach (Scott Trost) motivated us to get it going. We didn’t want to lose to the team from across town.’’
Jackson led Lewis (4-2) with 27 points and seven rebounds, Nelson had 16 points and Jarosz 15 as the Flyers won their third straight.
“We wanted to pick up the urgency more than what we had in the first half,’’ Jackson said.
St. Francis overcame an early 12-point deficit to lead 34-33 at halftime, prompting a “Check the scoreboard’’ chant from the Fighting Saints’ fans in Neil Carey Arena.
“Give them credit. I thought they played hard, took us out of what we wanted to do at times,’’ Trost said.
St. Francis (6-5) was led by guard Chris Miller and forward Tautvydas Kairys with 13 points apiece. Mark Peters scored 11 points and Billy Hubly had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Fighting Saints.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys, but they’re more athletic than we’ve had in the past,’’ St. Francis coach John Baines said. “This is one of the hardest-working groups I’ve ever been around.’’
Lewis made only one of its final 13 shots in the first half after shooting 57 percent (8-of-14) in the opening 11 minutes to take a 24-17 lead.
“The first half we were too one-on-one,’’ Trost said. “It was almost a personal thing. I thought the second half we settled down a little bit and made better decisions.’’
Lewis has home games against Judson (Dec. 19) and Northern Michigan (Dec. 30) before the Flyers start their Great Lakes Valley Conference season on the road Jan. 3 against Drury.