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Cody Stumbo

PIPPA PASSES, Ky. —  Senior guard Cody Stumbo poured in 28 points to lead Alice Lloyd College to a thrilling, 82-79 victory over No.25-ranked Cincinnati Christian University on Tuesday night.

The highly entertaining contest played at the Grady Nutt Athletic Center in Pippa Passes, Ky. as the KIAC Men’s Basketball Game of the Week with first place in the KIAC Capital Division on the line.

With the victory, Alice Lloyd (13-10, 9-4 KIAC) took over first place in the division versus Cincinnati Christian (17-7, 8-4 KIAC) and evened the season series at 1-1.

After CCU cut the lead to 9-8 on a rebound bucket from center Kenny Gaynor at the 15:34 mark, the host Eagles exploded.

First, Stumbo drilled three consecutive long range bombs to spark an 11-3 run and give ALC a 20-11 lead with 13:11 showing. Next, he scored five more points over the next 3:13 to propel the home club on a 12-2 run. When the dust settled, Alice Lloyd had its largest lead of the night at 32-13 with 9:58 remaining in the half, and forced a CCU timeout.

Cincinnati Christian came out of the timeout and demonstrated their championship mettle as they began to whittle away at the lead. Sparked by guard DJ McCommons, they closed the half on an 18-9 run, and trailed 41-31 at intermission.

Alice Lloyd, backed by 6-for-10 shooting and 20 points from Stumbo, outshot the visiting Eagles 45% to 37% in the opening stanza. McCommons had 10 at the half to pace his club.

In the second half, CCU reversed the tables as it opened the final stanza with a 9-2 burst to slice the score to 43-42 at the 17:15 juncture. When McCommons drained a jumper in the paint, things were finally knotted up at 49-49 with 14:58 remaining.

This time, ALC would respond. Leading scorer Tyler Rogers scored five quick points to shift the momentum back to his club. The host Eagles would then proceed to go on a 17-7 run, capped off by a bucket from guard Trevor Combs at the 8:29 mark. His shot put the host Eagles ahead by 10 (66-56), and things looked to be in their favor.

Incredibly, Cincinnati Christian would answer the bell once more. Guard Jarrell Moses would score five points in 1:52 seconds, and lift his club on a 9-0 run to reduce the deficit to just one, 66-65.

Alice Lloyd would creep ahead by six (74-68) following a tough drive from Stumbo with 3:45 remaining.

As everyone knew they would do, CCU answered. The visitors got a bucket from Gaynor and  a hoop and 1-2 free throws from Moses, to set the score 74-73.

Neither squad refused to quit as both teams continued to battle. With 10 seconds remaining, McCommons hit two big charity tosses to set the score 79-78, ALC. Forced to foul, Cincinnati Christian had no choice but to put Alice Lloyd’s man of the night, Stumbo, on the line with only 8 ticks showing. The guard coolly swished both tosses to set the final score.

The visitors would get one last look to tie, but Nick Seibert’s 22 foot attempt was short at the buzzer.

For Alice Lloyd, Stumbo led all scorers with 28 points. He finished 7 for 13 from the field (4-7 three pointers) and a perfect 10-10 from the charity stripe. He also added seven rebounds. He was joined in double figures by Dondre Warren, who played a solid game, finishing with 17 points and six rebounds. Rogers, who was limited to 22 minutes before fouling out, added 15 points and three blocks.

CCU was led by McCommons, who sank 8 of 12 shots (3-6 three pointers) and 3 for 3 from the foul line to finish with 22 points and four assists. He was followed in double figures by Gaynor and Seibert with 15 and 12 points, respectively. Khari Burton chipped in with 11.

On the night, the statistics were quite close as ALC sank 47% (31-66) from the floor compared to 45.6% (31-68) by Cincinnati Christian. Each club connected on six shots from beyond the arc. Free throws favored ALC, 82.4 % (14-17) to 68.8% (11-16) by the guests. The host Eagles also won the battle of the boards, 37-34.

Alice Lloyd returns to action in a big KIAC matchup Thursday at home against Rio Grande University at 8 p.m.