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Vikings clutch from the line in road win at Sallies

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For The Dialog

 

WILMINGTON – The 10th-ranked St Elizabeth Vikings shot 25 of 29 from the foul line to pull off the huge road win against No. 8 Salesianum, 59-51, on Jan. 6. It was a cold night, but the Vikings’ free-throw shooting was hot all night.

Nate Thomas of St. Elizabeth goes high over Salesianum’s Jack Brown during Saturday’s win for the Vikings. (The Dialog/Jason Winchell)

The Sals’ Jack Brown came out on fire, hitting two deep three-pointers sandwiched around a Michael Wallace two-pointer as the hosts grabbed a quick 8-2 lead. The Vikings cut it to 8-7 before Wallace hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the home team the 11-7 lead after one quarter.

The second quarter saw the Vikings make 12 free throws while the Sals got a huge inside quarter from Brett Henshey, who scored six points. It was the Vikings who took control late in the quarter as Nate Thomas made six free throws, and Jordan Brown hit a triple to give St. Elizabeth a 28-24 lead at the break.

The Sals got back in the game in the third as Darnell Vaughan took the ball strong to the hole and Paul Brown hit an inside shot. The Vikings had a 38-36 lead, but Wallace beat the buzzer again to tie it at 38 after the third quarter.

The Sals’ Jack Brown and Michael Wallace trap the Vikings’ Justin Money. (The Dialog/Jason Winchell)

Vaughan scored on the Sals’ first possession, but it was all Vikings after that. Guy DeBonaventura hit a bucket inside and then drained a three-pointer. Jordan Brown followed with a layup to give the Vikings a 47-40 lead with 4:52 left. The Vikings then would stroll to the line and make 10 of their next 11 to stretch the lead to 59-44 as they put together a 21-4 run. Salesianum would score the last seven points in the final minutes, but the damage was done.

The Vikings were led by Thomas, who had 22 points, including 16 of 16 from the charity stripe. Brown added 16 points as the Vikings improved to 6-2. They are off until next Saturday when they host Freire Charter at 2:15 p.m.

Jack Brown had 10 points for the Sals, while Wallace added nine. The Sals (4-3) have two more home games this week as the face Howard on Monday at 7:30 p.m. before facing third-ranked Sanford on Friday night, also at 7:30.

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