Craig's second-half charge sinks Beloit
The veteran coach had to quickly change his plans, however, after Craig High socked the Purple Knights with a 13-0 second-half punch that led to an impressive 62-39 victory in a Big Eight Conference game here Friday night.
Cooper Cullen racked up a game-high 18 points, while JoJo Pregont had 17, and Lucas Burns added 11 to move Craig (10-4, 7-4) to within 12 games of second-place Madison La Follette (7-2) in the Big Eight.
On the flip side, Beloit fell to 4-11 overall and 3-8 in the Big Eight.
“We just played good team basketball,” Suter said. “We can’t go out and play solo. It has to be all five guys together doing the things that we teach in practice.”
The Purple Knights also played pretty good team basketball for 22 quarters. In fact, K.J. Evans’ two free throws cut Craig’s lead to 36-32 with 2:02 left in the third quarter.
A few moments later, Burns picked up his fourth foul, adding even more intrigue to the Beloit upset bid.
But the Cougars quickly responded with their 13-0, game-changing run that turned a close game into a 49-32 lead with six minutes left.
“I didn’t really realize it, because it happened so fast. I looked up, and all of the sudden we have a 13-14 point lead,” Suter said. “But our kids are capable of that.”
Beloit coach Jay Bryant sure didn’t miss the run. He restlessly paced the sidelines as his team scored just seven points in the final 12:02 of the game.
“It was 36-32, and then we score seven points the rest of the way,’’ he said. “We just couldn’t buy a basket.”
The Purple Knights didn’t have to buy many baskets to stay within striking distance in the first half. After the Cougars opened a 23-10 lead late in the second quarter, Deon Lowery drilled a pair of three-pointers to help cut the Cougar lead to just 26-20 by halftime.
Beloit cut the lead to four twice in the third period before Charlie Roherty sank two three-pointers to help ignite the Cougars’ big second half spurt.
CRAIG 62, BELOIT 39
Beloit (39)—Lowery, 2-1-7; Smith, 4-0-9; Mauel, 1-0-2; Lindsey, 1-0-2; Evans, 0-2-2; Young, 4-0-9; Davis, 3-0-6; Sims, 1-0-2. Totals: 16-3-39.
Craig (62)—Cullen, 4-10-18; Rohery, 3-0-9; Burns, 4-0-11; Pregont, 7-3-17; Goike, 1-0-2; Clanfield, 0-2-2; Wright, 1-0-3. Totals: 20-15-62.
Beloit Memorial 10 10 12 7—39
Janesville Craig 12 14 18 18—62
Three point goals—Beloit 4 (Lowery, Young, Smith), Craig 6 (Roherty 3, Burns 3). Free throws missed—Beloit 1, Craig 10. Total fouls—Beloit 14, Craig 9.
Sophomores—Beloit 58, Craig 47.