PIPPA PASSES, Ky: Junior forward Jake Allen poured in 31 points and hauled down 18 rebounds to lead the home-standing Alice Lloyd College Eagles to a thrilling 97-94 double overtime victory over the Brescia Bearcats Saturday afternoon.
In the first half, the Eagles came out focused and controlled the contest. Their lead reached its zenith at 13 (27-14) following an Austin Crisp hoop with 7:49 remaining. The Bearcats would shrink the deficit to 4 before the hosts would pull back out to a 41-34 lead at intermission.
In the second half, the visitors refused to roll over and began to slice into the deficit. Trailing by two with .30 remaining, Bearcat guard Mason Roland sank a huge three pointer to give his club a one point lead. Next, on the inbounds play, BU’s Tavon Johnson would swipe the inbounds pass and draw a foul. His two charity tosses gave his club a 71-68 advantage with .25 remaining.
With their backs against the wall after the huge momentum shift, the Eagles went to Crisp. The junior made a quick cross-over, attacked the goal, drew the foul, and sank the bucket. After the cagey guard swished the foul shot to complete the old-fashioned three point play, the game was knotted once more at 71.
With the game in his hands, Brescia’s Johnson ran the clock down to 2 seconds before firing from eighteen feet. Fortunately for the home fans, his shot came up short at the buzzer and the contest went to overtime.
In the first OT, the teams would trade buckets. With .57 remaining, ALC’s Allen scored on a power move and drew a foul. His charity toss gave the hosts an 81-77 lead. Finally, it appeared, the Eagles would pull out the win.
Much to the chagrin of the home crowd, the Bearcats showed their fighting spirit once more. First, Roland would yet again drain a huge trifecta with .38 showing to shrink the lead to one. On the next Eagle possession, BU forward Jordan Cooper-Livers made a steal and tossed the ball ahead to Johnson for the go ahead layup. Incredibly, Brescia now led 82-81 with .23 to play.
After a timeout by the hosts, ALC guard Ryan House was fouled on his way to the hoop. With .10 glaring on the scoreboard, he would miss the first, but sink the crucial second free throw to tie things once more (82-82). The Bearcats ran the clock down to .03 before Cooper-Livers launched a 22 footer that ricocheted off the rim, forcing double OT.
Having dodged two bullets against the plucky visitors, Alice Lloyd was determined to have no more last second drama. Allen and Crisp would personally outscore the Bearcats 12-2 over the first four minutes to give the hosts a 94-84 lead with just one minute remaining. Finally, home fans could chalk the game in the victory column.
For the victorious Eagles (4-6; 2-1 RSC), Allen’s career high double-double paved the way. He sank 12-20 field goals, 7 free throws, hauled down 18 boards, and dished off 3 assists. Crisp was clutch as well, especially down the stretch. He contributed 23 points on 7 field goals and 9-11 free throws. He added 8 rebounds from his point guard slot. Freshman Blake Smith put up a quiet but critical 19 points by sinking 6-10 field goals (3-5 triples) and hitting all 4 charity tosses. He added 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. House chipped in with 12 timely points and a game-high 6 assists.
The Bearcats (2-7; 0-4 RSC) placed six players in double figures, led by Zach McDaniel and Johnson with 20 and 16 points respectively.
The victors connected on 46.7% (35-75) from the floor and 27.8% (5-18) from long range. They sank 66.7% (22-36) of their free throws. They added 48 rebounds, 11 assists, and 9 steals.
BU connected on 39.3% (35-89) from the floor and 25% (8-32) from long range. They made 76.2% (16-21) of their free throw opportunities and had 47 rebounds, 14 assists, and 9 steals.
The Eagles return to action this Tuesday when they face the 19th ranked Indiana University Southeast Grenadiers in conference play. Tip-off is set for 4:00 pm. This follows the women’s match-up, set to begin at 2:00 pm.