It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but the end-result was sweet as the Alice Lloyd College Eagles defeated the Brescia Bearcats on Saturday afternoon 75-72. The contest was held in the Grady Nutt Athletic Center.
In the first half, Alice Lloyd had difficulty finding the basket early. Consequently, they led by only two (19-17) with 6:57 remaining. Energized behind eight points from guard Isaac Wilson, ALC went on a run to close the half and led 39-30 at intermission.
In the second half, Brescia opened up on an 8-0 run in the opening two minutes to get back in the game. The Eagles managed to hold on to their slim lead until 4:00 remained. Brescia’s Hunter Rowe then connected on a jumper at that point to put the Bearcats ahead for the first time (61-59) since the ten minute mark of the opening half.
After exchanging points for the next two minutes, Bearcat guard Chris Way gave his club a 65-62 lead on a steal and dunk with 2:20 remaining.
Alice Lloyd answered with Shawn Thompson’s old-fashioned three-point play at 2:00 to tie the score at 65.
BU forward Brett Jackson gave his club a lead (67-65) with a drive in the paint on their next possession, but Eagles forward Brandon Hayes knotted the score once again at 67 on a clutch hoop at 1:16.
After each team traded possessions with no points to show for it, Brescia got the ball with 22 ticks remaining and a chance to win. Fortunately for the hosts, Rowe’s shot was off the mark just before the buzzer to set up overtime.
In OT, the Bearcats’ Zach Brown opened up the scoring on a mid-range shot, but saw it answered by the crafty Hayes following an offensive rebound.
After getting a stop on defense, ALC got the ball back and big man Terry Muse muscled in a bucket to put his team up by two (71-69). After obtaining a second crucial stop on defense, Alice Lloyd’s Hayes connected yet again on their next possession. The Eagles’ lead was now four (73-69) at 2:05.
Once again, back came Brescia, as Brown sank a huge three pointer at 1:47 to slice the Eagles’ lead to one (73-72).
Neither team could score for the next 1:28. Finally, BU got the ball back with a chance to win with 18 seconds remaining.
On their most important play of the game, Brescia forward Brett Jackson lost the ball out of bounds and gave the Eagles possession.
Forced to foul, the Bearcats quickly hacked ALC’S Wilson to stop the clock at 2.1.
The sophomore coolly sank both shots to put the hosts up 75-72. BU was only left with enough time for a desperation half court heave by Way, but his attempt was off the mark.
For Alice Lloyd (10-7, 2-1 KIAC), Wilson led all scorers with a game high 21 points. He also added 5 assists. He was followed by Thompson who finished with a double–double, tossing in 20 points and hauled down 16 huge rebounds. Hayes, who hit three big shots late, finished with 14 points.
Brown led Brescia (8-11, 1-3 KIAC) with 20 points.
After the game, Eagles Coach JR Hammond said, “I felt that we gave a good effort, but our execution on both ends could have been better at times. Anytime you earn a win in the conference, you will take it; but, we know we still have a lot of room for improvement. We want to be a much better club come tournament time.”
For the game, the offensive statistics were similar. ALC shot 28-65 from the floor (43%) compared to Brescia’s 27-59 (45.8%). However, the Eagles connected on 15 free throws compared to Brescia’s 10, and they also won the battle of the boards 38-31.