The Alice Lloyd College Eagles trailed 10-0 early, came back to lead by as many as fifteen in the second half, and then were forced to battle until the final seconds before defeating the visiting Asbury University Eagles 69-64 in KIAC Conference action Tuesday night.
In the first half, AU exploded out of the gate with ten quick points in the first minute and a half. After withstanding Asbury’s early punch, ALC settled down and began to cut into the deficit.
Junior forward Shawn Thompson and forward Brandon Hayes accounted for twelve points for Alice Lloyd over the next eight minutes to put their club back in contention. When junior forward Brent Hall connected on a rebound bucket in the paint at the 9:00 mark, ALC had their first lead of the game at 22-21.
Alice Lloyd then closed the half on a 19-10 run to take a 41-31 lead at intermission.
In the second half, ALC maintained a double digit lead throughout the first ten minutes. With 4:50 remaining in the game, they had stretched their lead to fifteen (65-50).
Rather than wave the white flag of surrender, Asbury fought back. Sparked by guard Marquel Johnson, AU whittled the lead to just six (67-61) with .43 seconds remaining. Following a turnover by the home team, Johnson connected on a huge three-point basket for Asbury to slice the deficit to just three (67-64).
Alice Lloyd senior Casey Dalton was fouled with .23 ticks remaining. However, the usually consistent free throw shooter saw his attempt rim out, giving Asbury one last chance to tie the score.
On the game’s most critical possession, AU went once more to Johnson. The point guard got a good look from beyond the arc, but fortunately for the home team, it fell short and was corralled by ALC’s Hayes with .15 on the clock.
With the outcome of the game on the line, senior Hayes calmly swished both of his free throw attempts to end the scoring for both teams.
For the victorious Eagles (11-9, 3-3, KIAC), Thompson led the team with 17 points. He was joined in double figures by sophomore Isaac Wilson with 15 and Hayes with 14. Wilson handed out a game high 4 assists while Hayes completed a double-double by hauling down 11 rebounds. Sophomore center Terry Muse added 10 rebounds, 6 points, and 3 blocks.
The Asbury Eagles (7-12, 1-4 KIAC) were led by 18 points from Johnson.