Bishop Miege stumbles at home, drops first game of the season to St. Thomas Aquinas

Bishop MIege's Ezekiel Lopes lays in two of his 10 points in the first half. He scored the first seven of the fourth quarter to help Miege climb back into the game after being down as many as 11.
Bishop MIege’s Ezekiel Lopes lays in two of his 10 points in the first half. He scored the first seven of the fourth quarter to help Miege climb back into the game after being down as many as 11.

[pullquote]

St. Thomas Aquinas 61, Bishop Miege 57

Leading Scorers
Miege
Robinson-Earl- 22
Lopes- 10
Earley- 9

Aquinas
Allegri- 30
Rost- 9
Hagenkord- 8
[/pullquote]

Bishop Miege isn’t using leading-scorer and rebounder Francesco Badocchi’s absence as to why the Stags fell 61-57 on Tuesday night to rival St. Thomas Aquinas.

Bishop Miege coach Rick Zych said the Saints came out with a lot of energy and grabbed every loose ball.

“We did a poor job of rebounding,” Zych said. “Then we got in a little foul trouble. Some of the guys who had to play well without Frankie did not play well.”

Josh Earley, who started in Badocchi’s place, picked up two fouls in the first half after scoring seven of his nine points, and he wasn’t the same in the second half. Joe Gleason wasn’t any better as he finished with four. But the problem came, like Zych said, on the glass and containing Aquinas’ Angelo Allegri, who finished with a game-high 30 points.

Miege found itself down 11 with 3:35 remaining turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions before it started to make their run. They outscored St. Thomas Aquinas 13-2 in a 5:54 span to tie the game at 49, which saw Ezekiel Lopes pour in the first seven points of the fourth quarter.

“We were down and I had to take over, somebody had to take over,” Lopes said. “We needed a leader out there, I tried to do what somebody wasn’t doing.”

After a Saints turnover, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who scored 22 points, went to the free throw line to try and give the Stags their first lead since it was 15-14 with 6:41 left in the first half, but he missed the front-end of a one-and-one.

On Aquinas’ next trip down the floor, Allegri was fouled and made both free throws. He went a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line down the stretch to close the game out.

The loss might be what Miege needed as they now know they aren’t invincible and there are teams as good as they are.

“It helps us to wake us up,” Lopes said. “We have to wake up to know we have to play two times harder than other teams. We have to wake up from the beginning to the end. We have to have aggressiveness from the post to the guards.”