Statistically and on the court, the matchup between Moeller (OH) and Providence (FL) was nearly a dead heat. Fortunately, at least for Providence, the Stallions came out just a little ahead in a 60-56 victory over Moeller to advance to the semifinals of the 2013 Beach Ball Classic.
Providence (8-3) led all but 1:28 of the opening half, including scoring the first nine points of the contest. After Moeller (6-1) battled back, Grant Benzinger hit a short jumper with 1:28 before the half to give the Crusaders their first lead. Both squads missed multiple shots in the closing minute to send the game to the locker room with Moeller leading by one.
The teams swapped baskets to open the second half with the lead changing each time. With the score tied 31-31, Grayson Allen scored eight straight points to give Providence a 39-31 advantage with 9:50 to play. Moeller cut the lead to three twice in the closing six minutes but could not overtake the Stallions.
Statistically, the game was as close as the final score. Providence, which connected on an amazing 71.4 percent (10-14) from the field in the second half, edged Moeller in the category for the game 55.3 percent to 50.0 percent. Providence also held slight edges in turnovers 10-11 and rebounds 22-19. Moeller did connect on nine 3-point baskets in the contest to just four for Providence, but the Stallions hit 14-of-15 from the free throw line to just 5-of-7 for Moeller.
Allen, who will play collegiately at Duke, tallied 0 points to lead Providence. Moeller was paced by Grant Benzinger’s 21 points.