by Gary Stepp
The Alice Lloyd Eagles traveled to New Albany, Indiana to take on the league’s top-seeded Grenadiers of Indiana University Southeast on Saturday. The match-up was in quarterfinal action of the KIAC Tournament. The visitors fought tooth and nail with the home team, but came up just short, 77-68.
Despite a frustrating regular season where they dropped many conference games in the closing minutes of the contest, the Eagles had a chance to erase that from their memory as they had nothing to lose against nationally ranked (#11) IU Southeast.
In the first half, the game was very tight and the lead changed hands until about twelve minutes to go. At that point, sparked by the play off the bench from freshman Nick Litton, ALC went on a 16-8 run to take a 33-23 lead with five minutes to go. Litton would ram in 12 points during that span. The road team continued their inspired play and they would take an eight-point lead into the break, 39-31. The Eagles shot a blistering 65% from the floor in the opening stanza while the hosts shot 57%. They also limited the favorites to only 8 rebounds while snatching 14 themselves.
Alice Lloyd stayed out in front for most of the second half. IU Southeast made a run early to cut the lead to two, 43-41, only to watch the Eagles answer with a run of their own to increase their advantage once more to nine (52-43) with twelve minutes to go in the game. However, the proverbial wheels came off of ALC’s bus. The Eagles still led by 1 with five and a half minutes to go, but sparked by KIAC Player of the Year Cameron Mitchell, the Grenadiers would take the lead for good just a few seconds later, 62-61. From there, Alice Lloyd just ran out of gas. IUS would expand upon their advantage in the waning stages by sinking their free throws.
For ALC (11-19), not even nationally-recognized IU Southeast could stop Stuart Stamper as the junior led all scorers with 25 points. Litton gave a standout performance with 16 points and 5 rebounds, while big Terry Muse had 10 points and 5 rebounds in his last game in an Alice Lloyd uniform.
IU Southeast (25-4) was led by Terence Billups with 16 points. Cameron Mitchell and Jake Simpson each added 15.