The Rochester John Marshall Rockets defeated Faribault 68-63 at Nomeland Gym this afternoon (February 4, 2023).

The free throw line was definitely the difference as the Falcons had to foul late in their comeback effort but the Rockets did not shoot well from there in the second half.

Final free throw totals were 13 of 22 for JM and 3 for 3 for Faribault.  In fact the Falcons did not shoot a free throw in the second half while the Rockets went 4 for 10.

Faribault started the game by scoring first.  It was close early but they suffered a spurt of turnovers and found themselves behind 20-8, 6:13 into the game.

The Falcons would claw back to a 36-28 score with 1:21 to go in the half and down by 10 with 16 seconds to go a Faribault player tossed up a three point shot which was unsuccessful.

Judging by Falcons Head Coach Eric Hildebrandt's reaction he was hoping to hold for the last shot to possibly get the deficit down to single digits at the half but instead the Rockets came down and hit a three point basket at the buzzer.

Halftime score was Rochester John Marshall 41  Faribault Falcons 28.

JM scored 16 points off 14 Faribault turnovers while the Falcons scored 8 points off 10 first half John Marshall turnovers.

The Rockets had a 7-0 run in less than 2 minutes to open the second half making the  score 48-28 triggering a Falcons time out.

John Marshall turned the ball over a lot in the final several minutes which aided the Faribault comeback.

The Rockets held a 7 point lead with 5:38 remaining in regulation and the same lead existed at 39.3 seconds to go.

The Falcons could not get any closer than 4 points which came with 16.5 seconds left.

Rochester John Marshall ended the game with 22 turnovers.  Faribault scored 18 points off those miscues.  The Falcons cut down on their turnovers in the second half to finish with 21 total and the Rockets scored 28 points.

Faribault had 3 players in double figures led by Mohamed Madey, sophmore with 24, James Wellborn, senior and Nolan Vogelsburg, sophmore added 10 each.

The Rockets were led by Zechariah Ladu, junior, with 18 points, Traevon Koch, junior, added 15 off the bench and Cham Obang, senior had 11 points.

The loss dropped Faribault to a 1-13 Big Nine record, 1-17 overall.  John Marshall is 5-8 in the league, 6-11 overall.

The Falcons travel to Mankato West Tuesday while JM hosts Albert Lea.  Both are 7:30 p.m. starts.

The Big Nine Conference is as tightly contested as ever with four teams tied for the top with 10-3 records.  Austin, Mankato East, Owatonna and Northfield.

Owatonna is at Austin tonight (7:30) and hosts Northfield Tuesday.  The Raiders have Red Wing coming to their gym tonight 7:30 then go to Owatonna Tuesday night at 7:30.

Faribault on Offense Against John Marshall. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Faribault on Offense Against John Marshall. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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