PIPPA PASSES, KY – The Alice Lloyd Eagles fell behind by 16 points early and battled back to tie the game late, only to drop a close 71-67 decision at the hands of NCAA II Malone University. The Patriots are from Canton, Ohio.
In the opening half, the visitors roared out of the gates on fire connecting on four straight long-range bombs. When MU guard Ben Evans sank yet another bomb at the 9:00 mark, the hosts trailed 30-14 and were in danger of getting run out of their own gym.
With their backs against the wall, Eagle junior guard Austin Crisp went to work, scoring 9 points over the remaining time to spark his club on a run. At the half, ALC trailed by a much more manageable 6 points (35-29).
In the second half, Alice Lloyd would continue to battle and slowly whittle away at the deficit. After two free throws by sophomore guard Ryan House with 6:43 remaining, the Pioneer lead had shrunk to just 1 (60-59).
The Eagles would knot things at 64 on two clutch free throws by Crisp with just 3:31 remaining and the crowd believed the fantastic comeback was possible.
However, on their next three possessions, the hosts would misfire. This allowed MU’s Mitchell Spotleson to connect on back-to-back jumpers and give his squad a valuable cushion. Patriot guard Ty Jordan then slammed the door shut with 4 consecutive foul shots
For ALC (2-4), they were led in scoring by Crisp with 20 points on 7-14 field goals, including 4-5 from long distance. He added 6 rebounds. Freshman Blake Smith added 11 points and 6 rebounds. Senior Mason Pack added 9 points and a team-high 7 boards while sophomore Alex Sergent led in assists with 3.
Malone (1-2) was led by the game-high 24 points from Spotleson.
The Eagles connected on just 33.3% (19-57) from the field and 29.6% (8-27) from long range. They were a solid 84% (21-24) from the charity stripe and had 39 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals.
MU connected on 37.9% (22-58) from the floor and 29.4% (10-34) from long range. They were 73.9% (17-23) from the charity line and had 36 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals.
ALC returns to action this week on Tuesday when they travel to Nashville, Tennessee to face Welch College. Tip-off is set for 8pm EST.