Pippa Passes, KY: The Alice Lloyd College Eagles battled until the final horn, but eventually succumbed at the hands of the visiting Reinhardt University Eagles, 88-87. The season opener was played on November 2nd. Reinhardt entered the contest sporting a 1-1 record, with a road victory over 15th ranked Dalton State (GA) and a loss to perennial power Life University (GA).
In the opening half, things started on an ominous note for the home squad as leading scorer Blake Smith took a shot to the head on a drive to the hoop early in the game which forced him to miss the majority of the stanza. Despite his absence, ALC would hang tough, sparked by the play of sophomore guard Noah Young and big minutes off the bench from junior guard Ian Lee and sophomore guard Austin Combs. Alice Lloyd would manage a 42-39 advantage at intermission.
In the second half, RU would regain the lead only to watch the Eagles ride a big second-half effort from Smith to regain the advantage. With 5:00 remaining, the home club led by nine and looked poised for the big win.
Reinhardt would respond with a 9-0 run to tie things, and they eventually pulled ahead late 86-85. With .31 remaining, Smith would swish a 12-foot jumper to put the home club ahead 87-86. In need of a bucket, RU found leading scorer Dorea Wilson, whose drive found the bottom of the net to give his club an 88-87 lead with just .14 showing.
On their next possession, ALC found Smith, but he was stripped of the ball on a drive to the hoop. Forced to foul with .05 remaining, the host Eagles got a huge break when the visitors misfired on both attempts. Down to the last play of the game with 3.8 left to play, Young would get off a runner from thirty feet, but it bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
For the victors (2-1), they had four players reach double figures, with Wilson’s 17 leading the way.
ALC (0-1) was led in scoring by the junior Smith, who wound up with 21 points, 19 coming in the final half. He finished 8-13 from the floor and 5-6 from the charity line. He also added 5 rebounds. He was joined in double digits by Young with 19 points on 7-14 attempts, and junior forward Chance Cornett with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Lee sank 3-8 trifecta and added 11 points. Senior forward Simon Christon led the squad with 11 rebounds and 7 assists.