BLUEFIELD, Va. – The Bluefield College Rams, runner-up of the Appalachian Athletic Conference, defeated Alice Lloyd College, runner-up of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, 79-77 Saturday afternoon in overtime at the Dome Gymnasium to win the NCCAA Mid-East Regional Tournament. With the win, Bluefield now advances to the NCCAA National Tournament next week in Winona Lake, Ind.
Alice Lloyd took the early lead and built it to five points before the Rams tied things at 13 with 13:31 remaining in the opening half. BC took its first lead 17-15 on two free throws and a Cordaris Towns trey made it 22-17 in favor of the hosts. ALC fought back and tied it at 25 only to see Bluefield open things up. Joseph McClain‘s half court shot at the first half buzzer gave the Rams a 41-33 lead at the break.
In the second half Bluefield’s lead grew as high as 10 before the Eagles climbed back into the game. The deficit shrank to two with just over eight minutes to play and ALC forged ahead with six-and-a-half to play, 65-64. BC and ALC continued to battle as neither team refused to back down. The hosts Towns‘ drained a late bomb to break a tie and give the Rams a 71-68 lead.
Fortunately, the visitors responded. Senior Tyler Rogers connected on a hoop. That was followed soon after by a free throw from fellow senior Cody Stumbo that tied the game at 71 with 20.2 ticks left on the clock. On the last possession, the Eagles made the big defensive stop, forcing overtime.
In the extra period ALC jumped ahead by as many as three but the Rams answered. BC retook the lead 78-77 when Towns made a basket with 29.2 remaining. His free throw with 10.8 seconds to play set the score 79-77.
On the last possession of the game, Alice Lloyd found sophomore Dondre Warren who was fouled with .01 remaining. Unfortunately, his free-throw rolled off ending the game.
Towns paced the Rams (21-12) with a double-double, scoring 25 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. He also had eight blocked shots and two steals.
Stumbo led Alice Lloyd (18-13) with 18 points. Rogers was right behind with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Freshman Shane Hall also hit double figures with 12. Senior Trevor Combs hit three bombs for 9 points while sophomore Austin Crisp chipped in with 7 points,7 rebounds, and a game high 5 assists.
The Rams await pairings for the NCCAA National Tournament which begins Wednesday in Winona Lake, Ind. Alice Lloyd now plays the waiting game to find out if they will receive an at-large bid to the tournament.