Jays Knock Off Curtis, Kullivan Knocks Down Career High 15 Points
Jesuit’s basketball team rode tenacious defense and a career-night from junior Collin Kulivan to defeat the John Curtis Patriots, 48-39, on Friday, Feb. 5 at the Birdcage.
It was the second time in four days that the Jays notched a district win by holding a quality opponent to less than 40 points (Jesuit defeated Holy Cross 51-36 on Tuesday, Feb. 2).
The opening minutes of the game were anything but auspicious. Jesuit turned the ball over several times, spotting the Patriots a 6-0 lead. It wasn’t until junior Hunt Conroy drained a three-pointer with just under three minutes remaining in the first quarter that the Jays even cracked the scoreboard.
But they sure found a groove after that. By the end of the first eight minutes, the Jays were only down 6-5. In the second quarter, Jesuit got hot from three-point range, with junior Chris Beebe hitting two long-range shots and Kulivan adding a third as Jesuit built a 22-14 lead heading into intermission.
In the third quarter, Curtis started to chip away at the lead, but every time they got close Kulivan seemed to have an answer. He would score eight of his career-high 15 points in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, with the lead hanging precariously at four points and Jesuit huddled for a time-out, coach Chris Jennings ’78 dialed up a full-court in-bounds baseball pass to senior Mark Beebe, who corralled the slightly off-target bomb, set his feet, juked a frantically closing defender, and converted the lay-up. The play put Jesuit up 39-33 with 2:45 left and seemed to take the wind out of the Patriots’ sails. Jesuit closed out the quarter primarily from the free throw line.
“I thought Colin did a really nice job coming off the bench,” said Jennings. “And Mark Beebe is playing really solid at the point.”
Beebe, a senior, played the point for virtually the entire game, turning the ball over only twice. He also found himself at the free throw line for the Jays’ first two one-and-one situations in the fourth quarter. Despite tired legs, he converted both front ends and three of four overall to keep Curtis at bay.
Beebe’s brother, junior Christopher Beebe, scored nine points to go along with team highs in rebounds (seven) and assists (three). Conroy added nine points of his own, and junior Sam Ovella pulled down five defensive rebounds.
With the win, Jesuit improves to 9-15 on the year and 4-5 in district play. Next up for the Jays is an Ash Wednesday contest against Archbishop Shaw. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in the Birdcage.