Winona Lake,In: The Alice Lloyd Eagles battled back in the second half to reduce a 27 point deficit to just 9 but they ran out of steam and dropped a 89-79 to the Bluefield College Rams Friday afternoon. The match-up took place in the NCCAA National Tournament and completes a solid season.
In the first half, the Rams rode the hot hand of guard Tony Hood and drained 5 of their first 6 three point bombs to sprint to a 17-5 lead with 16:09 showing. Their advantage reached 14 before ALC went on a 11-3 run behind the play of leading scorer Tyler Rogers to set the score 24-18 at 10:30.
The Rams responded and maintained their advantage. When Ram reserve Robert Pinkston drilled a three point bomb just ahead of the buzzer, BC went into the locker room with a 42-32 lead.
The Eagles only connected on 33% (12-36) from the floor in the half. This compared to Bluefield at 47% (16-34), but they drained 9-18 huge three point buckets.
The second half started the worst possible way for Alice Lloyd as BC blitzed out of the gate throwing a knockout punch. They simply overwhelmed the Eagles with a 21-4 run to blow the score up to 63-36 with 14:45 left on the clock. Unless they could respond, ALC was in danger of being blown out of the water.
With nothing to lose, the Eagles went to a press which began to pay dividends. Over the next 10 minutes, they began to slowly slice into the lead. When guard Austin Crisp sank 2 free throws with 3:53 blinking on the scoreboard, the score suddenly stood 77-68, and the fans began to sense a March Madness moment was possible.
Unfortunately, the Eagles exerted so much energy in their comeback attempt that they ran out of steam. Rams forward Cordaris Townes steadied his club, and they slammed the door shut to win by 10.
For Alice Lloyd (18-16), Rogers would lead the way, closing out a brilliant career with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Crisp played his best game of the tournament, as the sophomore finished with 14 points and 5 assists. Senior Cody Stumbo left his mark as well, finishing with 10 points and 6 rebounds while sophomore Dondre Warren chipped in 10 points and a game high 11 rebounds.
The Eagle also say goodbye to seniors Dakota Hall, who sank 2 bombs for 6 points, Trevor Combs, and Zac’ Crawford, who unfortunately fractured his elbow just before the tournament and was unable to dress.
Jake Allen was a bright spot as the sophomore came off the bench in the second half to score 9 points and add 4 boards. Junior Mason Pack tossed in 7 points while sophomore Grayson Griffith drilled a triple and finished with 3 points.
Bluefield (22-14) was led by Townes and Hood with 26 and 18 points respectively. Sidney Knox and Zeke Williams reached double figures as well, finishing with 13 and 11 points each.
On the night, ALC shot 43.3% from the floor and 6-17 from long range (35.3%). BC finished 51.5% from the floor (35-68) and 13-28 from long range (46.4%). The Eagles sank 71.4% from the charity stripe (15-21) compared to the Rams 54.5% (6-11).