Sinks Fighting Bees
Ambrose Fighting Bees (20-14) made their first appearance in three years
to the NAIA Division II National Tournament and their ninth overall
appearance, as they faced off with the No. 8 Cedarville Yellow Jackets
(27-7) on Thursday at 10:45. It was a heart-wrenching defeat, culminated
by a stretch of deadly 3-point shooting by the Yellow Jackets ending the
Fighting Bees hopes of a National Championship with a 94-84 loss.
sluggish start by the Fighting Bees propelled Cedarville out to a 10-2
lead in the first three minutes of the game, but St. Ambrose regained
their composure and went on a 13-1 run capped off by a Nick Ferreira layup
from Matt Fitzpatrick to grab a 15-11 lead at the 13:55 mark.
teams exchanged baskets until the Yellow Jackets went on a 7-0 run of
their own to capture a 28-24 lead with 6:11 remaining in the first half.
St. Ambrose would fight right back, as senior Tom Pavljasevic and Brett
Jacobs hit back to back 3-pointers en route to a 10-0 run and a 32-28
lead. Following a Brandon Lee field goal, Fitzpatrick expanded the Bees
lead to 40-31, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws with
58 seconds left in the first half.
Yellow Jackets would close the half out with three consecutive points to
give the Fighting Bees a 40-34 halftime lead. Fitzpatrick finished the
first half with 15 points and Pavljasevic added 9, leading St. Ambrose
to 52% shooting from the field, including 46% from 3-point land.
Cedarville was held to 38% shooting and 31% from behind the arc.
started the 2nd half with four straight points, but Pavljasevic answered
with four of his own to keep the lead at six. Josh Gast led the Yellow
Jackets on a 14-3 run, scoring 8 of his 21 second half points to give the
team a 52-47 lead with 14:29 remaining.
forward Nick Ferreira provided the Fighting Bees with a spark off the
bench, having his best output of the season by scoring six of the teams'
next nine points to spring St. Ambrose out to a 59-57 lead at the 10:40
mark. The lead proved to be the last one the Fighting Bees would hold this
season, as Josh Gast took over.
game tied at 61, Gast hit a 25-footer and followed it up 30 seconds later
with another long range bomb to put the Yellow Jackets ahead 67-63. The
3-point activity was not finished, as Barry Chamberlain connected on a
3-pointer capping off a trio of long balls made in only 54 seconds of
play. Gast came right back at the Bees with a fade away 17-footer to put
Cedarville out on top with a 76-68 advantage.
Ambrose could not recover from the Cedarville onslot and would never get
the deficit under six points. The two teams exchanged baskets during the
final four minutes of play, leading to the Yellow Jackets 94-84 first
Pavljasevic finished his career with a 19 point, 9 rebound and 4 assist
performance to lead the Fighting Bees. Matt Fitzpatrick also scored 19,
while Karl Petersen added 16 points and 12 rebounds. Nick Ferreira scored
a season high 12 points in only 13 minutes of play.
led all scorers with 24 points, including 5 field goals from 3-point land.
Jason Weakley threw in 21 points, center Drew Barton added 18 and Mugabe
Thomas chipped in with 12.
Fighting Bees were held to 39% shooting in the second half and a rough 1
of 11 from behind the arc. Cedarville shot 51% and hit 6 three point field
goals in the second half to score 60 points in the final 20 minutes of
rebounding played a key role for the Yellow Jackets, as they grabbed 17
offensive boards and had a 21-11 advantage in second chance points.
Cedarville outrebounded the Fighting Bees 46-36 and hit 10 of 29 three
Fighting Bees came very close to advancing to the Sweet 16, but will have
to look towards next season. The team will lose leading scorer Tom
Pavljasevic (16.4), Joe Barrer, Jason Geering and JJ Konstant, but will
return a senior heavy lineup and four returning starters in hopes of
another trip to the national tournament.
the Men's Basketball