Twenty-fifth ranked Lourdes opened up play in the Saint Xavier Midwest Tournament, a field which features five top-25 programs, on Saturday afternoon, falling 79-68 to 21st-ranked Saint Ambrose at the Shannon Center in Chicago, Ill.
The Gray Wolves fell behind 13-2 five minutes into the contest, and despite recovering to take the lead, allowed the Bees to go on another 8-0 run late in the opening half which proved to be the difference.
Lourdes fought back from the initial deficit, taking a 19-18 lead at the 6:16 mark of the first half on a three-pointer by Elvin Butler (Akron, Ohio/East H.S.). The lead would be the Gray Wolves only advantage of the game though, as Saint Ambrose scored the next eight points. The Bees eventually took a 29-23 lead into the locker room.
A lay-up by Butler four minutes into the second half pulled Lourdes to within three, 33-30, but Saint Ambrose answered with a 17-4 run that made the margin 16 points with 10 minutes remaining. Lourdes would get no closer than within 10 points the rest of the way.
Eric Worthey (Cleveland, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian H.S.) led Lourdes with 24 points, scoring 18 in the second half. The fifth-year senior made 9-of-12 shots from the floor and also pulled down a team-leading seven rebounds.
Butler added 16 points for the Gray Wolves while Zach Steinmetz (Toledo, Ohio/Saint John's H.S.) chipped in 14 more. Both players grabbed six boards for Lourdes as the Gray Wolves outrebounded the Bees 41-24, including 22-6 on the offensive end. The Gray Wolves made just 13-of-25 (52%) free throws though.
Nick Frazier led Saint Ambrose (10-3) with 25 points, making 10-of-13 from the line while Tylon Deal added 22 more. The Bees committed just 10 turnovers while forcing 15 from the Gray Wolves.