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In a game of wild swings, the last one went Immaculate Conception’s way.
The Knights came back from a 12-point third-quarter deficit after they had squandered a big early lead, and used an 18-2 run during the fourth quarter to take out St. Edward 57-51 in the championship game of the IC-Westmont Christmas Tournament on Saturday.
“We went into the locker room very mad at each other at halftime because we couldn’t handle their pressure,” Knights forward Demetrius Carr said. “But then we came together as a team and executed the way we had been early in the game.
“On defense, our intensity had to pick up a lot. That was what really won it.”
Carr scored 17 points and hauled in 13 rebounds and the Knights benefited from St. Edward big man Adrian Ponce fouling out before the Green Wave lost its big lead.
“That hurt us huge, but the turnovers we had were what did it,” St. Edward coach P.J. White said. “You can’t go into the last few minutes and turn the ball over four straight times and then miss some free throws at the end.
“We can work on that when we go back to practice,”
IC trailed 47-39 1:10 into the fourth quarter, but the Green Wave made seven fourth-quarter turnovers much as it had committed 10 first-quarter turnovers. IC capitalized as Anthony Taylor scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and Sean Sutton five of his 12 points.
Taylor’s three-point play got IC within one, and Carr hit a putback after he had stolen the ball to give IC the lead for good with 3:26 left. Three more St. Edward turnovers let Adam Muellers hit a three-pointer and Taylor two free throws to put the game out of reach.
IC had forced St. Edward into 10 first-quarter turnovers in building a 15-6 lead, but the Green Wave roared back by matching IC’s defensive intensity. St. Edward outscored IC 22-6 in the second quarter.
St. Edward’s Devontae Elam scored 15 first-quarter points, including 11 in the second quarter, but IC held him to only one more point the rest of the game.
Antonio Domel and Danny Favela scored 10 each for St. Edward, while Ponce was held to six points and four rebounds.
The win was the sixth straight for IC (12-3), and it ended a five-game winning streak for St. Edward (13-3).
The Green wave had beaten IC 51-39 in the championship game of the Westminster Christian Thanksgiving tournament. The two will play twice in the Suburban Christian Conference, and could also meet up in the Westmont Regional in a fifth game.