CHICAGO, Ill. -- The 14th-ranked Bellevue University men's basketball team advanced to the championship game of the Saint Xavier Midwest Tournament with a, 77-71, victory over Aquinas College Sunday night on Bob Hallberg Court at the Shannon Center.
Bellevue will face the tournament host, No. 10-ranked St. Xavier University, in the championship game on Monday (Dec. 23) at 6 p.m. SXU defeated No. 21 St. Ambrose University, 99-73, in the other semifinal.
The Bruins have won six-straight games, improving to 10-2 on the season. Aquinas fell to 6-8 overall.
Senior Lee Ames led Bellevue with 14 points and five rebounds. Senior Given Kalipinde added 13 points, five rebounds, three steals, and a pair of assists. Michael Dotson, Isaiah Strong and Alex Worthen-Harris each chipped in with nine points in the win.
Jake Bullock paced the Saints with 24 points, four assists and three rebounds.
The Bruins used a 22-7 run midway through the first half to propel them to a 42-29 halftime advantage.
Bellevue led by as many as 16 points in the second half before the Saints mounted a furious comeback, pulling to within three points at 67-64 following a 3-pointer by Kolin Kazen with just under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Ames and Kalipinde combined for nine free throws in the final four minutes to seal the, 77-71, Bruin victory.
AC: Bullock, 24; Kazen, 13; Semple, 11; Pfahler, 7; VanBeek, 5; Williams, 5; Schall, 4; Ferrici, 2
BU: Ames, 14; Kalipinde, 13; Dotson, 9; Worthen-Harris, 9; Strong, 9; Young, 8; Chonis, 6; Droll, 4; Hammock, 3; Redstar, 2