(Press Release from Rocky Athletic Department)

CHANDLER, Ariz. – The Rocky Mountain College men’s basketball team close out its trip to the Cactus Classic with a 74-69 loss to Benedictine (Kan.) on Tuesday morning at the Coyote Center on the Chandler-Gilbert Community College campus.

Rocky (7-5) finished the event with a 1-2 record.

Despite struggling to score in the second half, the Battlin’ Bears were able to erase an 8-point deficit to tie the game at 65-65 with 4:16 to play. The teams would then trade scores before Austin Payne made a pair of free throws to put Rocky ahead 69-67 at the 2:44 mark.

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Benedictine (9-4) tied the game at 69-69 just 15 seconds later. Rocky had three shots for the lead on its next possession, but they came up empty. The Ravens took the lead on the ensuing possession and then got another stop. Benedictine would convert at the foul line down the stretch to secure the win.

Rocky shot 36.8 percent from the field in the game and went just 10 of 33 in the second half. They were 3 of 23 from beyond the arc and had nine assists and 11 turnovers.

Jared Samuelson led Rocky in scoring with 16 points while Latrelle Franklin added 15 points. Franklin added five assists and four steals.

The Battlin’ Bears allowed Benedictine to shoot 45.8 percent from the floor and go 8 of 19 from deep. Rocky forced 15 turnovers and turned them into 18 points. Benedictine had a 41-40 edge in rebounds and scored 36 points in the paint.

Danny Betcher led Rocky with eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Payne scored 11 points and Satchel McDonald added 10.

Reshardd Harris led the Ravens with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Rocky now returns home where they will host the Hampton Inn/Wells Fargo Green & Gold Classic on December 29-30.