The ALC Eagles hosted the NAIA’S 11th ranked club, the Indiana University East Red Wolves, on Saturday afternoon. In a game that was not determined until the final buzzer, the visitors prevailed 80-76.
In the opening stanza, the Red Wolves jumped out to a quick lead behind the inside play of forward Huston Clark. They led 18-10 at the 15:00 mark.
ALC then received a boost from forward Brent Hall. His old-fashioned three point play sliced the deficit to 20-17 at 10:02.
IUE led 26-21 at the 7:19 mark; but the Eagles, boosted by seven points from Shawn Thompson, closed the half on a 12-6 run and took a 33-32 lead at intermission.
In the second half, Alice Lloyd opened with a nice spurt. A steal by Casey Dalton led to a layup for guard Tyler Ailshie, giving the hosts their largest lead of the game at 47-40 with 15 minutes to go.
The Red Wolves then exploded on a 16-4 run over the next 4:04 to take a five point lead (56-51) with 10:56 remaining.
ALC then dug in and fought back to close the gap to one (72-71) following a layup by Thompson at 4:02. When Dalton sank two free throws at 2:42, the Eagles regained the lead once more (75-74).
After ripping down a rebound following an IUE miss, Eagles big man Terry Muse sank 1-2 from the foul line to give his club a 76-74 advantage with just over two minutes remaining.
A potential upset was in the making.
However, at 1:49, Red Wolves guard Matt Trimnell knotted up the contest at 76 with two big charity tosses.
After both clubs exchanged turnovers, Alice Lloyd got the ball back with a chance to take the lead. Unfortunately for the hosts, Thompson’s shot in traffic rolled off the rim.
The visitors corralled the rebound and decided to run down the shot clock in search of a high percentage opportunity. They eventually got the ball to guard David Sanders who delivered by sinking a runner in the paint. His huge bucket put his club up 78-76 with just 12 seconds left on the clock.
Eagles point guard Isaac Wilson quickly pushed the ball down court looking to tie the game for his club, but he was jostled and lost possession. IUE guard Marcus Isaac retrieved the ball and was immediately fouled at 6.8 seconds.
Isaac then slammed the door shut by connecting on both shots from the line.
For ALC (10-9, 2-3 KIAC), Thompson led all scorers with 21 points. Dalton added 13, while Wilson and senior Brandon Hayes chipped in with 11 each. In addition, Hayes led all players with 10 rebounds, while Wilson added a team high 5 assists.
For the Red Wolves (18-5, 5-1 KIAC), Trimnell led four players in double figures with 18 points.
The stats show just how close the game was. Alice Lloyd shot 46.7% from the floor compared to IU East’s 46.3% and hit 16 free throws to IUE’s 12. Indiana University East did connect on 6 three pointers to Alice Lloyd’s 4, but the Eagles won the rebounding battle 42-34.