LIBERAL, Kan. – The Seward County men's basketball team used a strong second half push to guide them to victory over the Cloud County Thunderbirds inside the Greenhouse Wednesday night, 80-64. With the win, the Saints sit at 13-7 overall and 9-7 in the Jayhawk conference, their most conference wins since 2013-14.
The first half was evenly matched between the two teams, and consisted of runs made to even the game up. Two minutes into the game with the score tied 5-5, the Thunderbirds went on a 7-1 run to put them up six points. However, just before the media timeout, the Saints took the lead by a score of 19-16 with a Hegel Augustin, three during a 13-4 run.
Coming out of the media timeout, the Thunderbirds utilized another run to put them back on top 28-24 with just 3:30 left to play in the half. The Saints fought back, ending the half on a 7-2 run to take a 31-30 lead into the break.
It was an offensive explosion for two teams that rank toward the bottom of the Jayhawk Conference in offense. Seward shot 48.0 percent (12 of 25) from the floor and 40.0 percent (4 of 10 from deep). Cloud shot 52.4 percent (11 of 21) from the field and 50.0 percent (4 of 8) from behind the arc.
Cloud came out in the second half and took the lead on their opening possession, ultimately pushing their lead to four points, by a score of 39-35. It didn't take long for the Saints to respond, going on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to retake the lead.
Seward continued their hot shooting down the stretch, going on a 17-2 run to take a decisive 19-point lead with just under seven minutes to play. The Saints pushed their lead to as many as 27 following back-to-back three pointers by Hegel Augustin. Cloud made a run late, but it wasn't enough, as the Saints held on for the win, 80-64.
The Saints shot 52.7 percent (29 of 55) from the floor, including 56.7 percent (17 of 30) in the second half. Seward made 9 of their 19 three-point attempts (47.4 percent). It marked the second straight game that the Saints shot over 50 percent from the field.
Cloud shot 47.9 percent from the floor (23 of 48) and 50.0 percent (7 of 14) from deep.
Hegel Augustin came off the bench to score a game and career-high 21 points. He finished the game shooting 7 of 8 from the floor and 4 of 5 from behind the arc. Isiah Small joined Augustin in double-figures, scoring 16 points.
Seward will play in their Homecoming game on Saturday (Jan. 27) when they host the Barton Cougars at 8 p.m. inside the Greenhouse. The game will be free for all fans thanks to our sponsor Pizza Hut. Free tickets can be picked up at any Liberal Pizza Hut location.