Pippa Passes, KY: The Alice Lloyd College Eagles got the final shot of the night, but it came up just short as they suffered a heart-wrenching 77-76 defeat at the hands of the visiting Cincinnati Christian University Eagles. The River States Conference matchup was held on Tuesday night.
From the tipoff, the contest was tight as the two evenly matched clubs traded hoops. When Eagle junior forward Chance Cornett sank a jumper at the 9:30 mark, the hosts trailed by just two (23-21).
The visitors would then go on a mini-run. CCU’s leading scorer Blake Walsman would give his club a 40-32 lead on a free throw with 4:03 remaining, as his team looked to be in command.
Fortunately, the home-town boys would respond and shrink the deficit to just three (45-42), heading into intermission.
In the second half, Cincinnati would hold on to their slim advantage. Eventually, Cornett’s charity toss with 14:42 to play would tie things at 54 apiece.
From that point, the crowd would get their money’s worth, as neither team would lead by more than three points the remainder of the game.
With 4:59 on the clock, the score read 68-68. Walsman would give the visiting Eagles a three-point lead with his three-point play, only to watch ALC junior guard Blake Smith respond with an old-fashioned three-point play of his own (71-71).
CCU would score on their next possession, but then witness Smith match them once more (73-73).
Smith would not stop there. His bucket with exactly one minute left to play would cap a string of nine consecutive points he scored, and give his club a 77-74 cushion.
Out of the timeout, Cincinnati would answer with a hoop from Dez Marshall at .45 (77-76). His squad would then gain possession of the ball once more following a miss. They would call timeout at .25.
On their final play, the guests would swing the ball inside to Walsman, who drew a foul with 4.9 left to play. Despite sinking just 3-7 of his previous attempts, Walsman coolly drilled both to give his club a one-point edge at 79-78.
Down to their final possession, Alice Lloyd got the ball to Smith who raced down court at a furious pace. Incredibly, the athletic guard was able to reach the hoop, but his contested shot just rolled off the rim as time expired.
For ALC (11-15; 5-10 RSC), four players reached double figures. Smith came up big in the losing effort, as he poured in 27 points on 11-22 field goals.
Cornett pumped in 17 points (8-12 FG) and tied senior forward Simon Christon for rebounding honors with 6. Christon and sophomore guard Noah Young contributed 10 points apiece. Young joined senior guard Ryan House with 2 steals each.
Alice Lloyd shot 44.6% (33-74) from the floor, but doomed themselves by connecting on just 5% (1-20) from behind the arc. They hit only 58.8% (10-17) from the charity stripe. Additionally, they added 35 rebounds, 12 assists, and 7 steals.
For the victors (13-14; 7-8 RSC), Walsman and Brandon McQueen each netted 15 points.
CCU shot 45.5% (30-66) from the floor and won the contest by finishing at 45.5% (10-22) from behind the arc. They connected on 57.1%% (8-14) from the foul line, and also added 43 rebounds, 10 assists, and 3 steals.
ALC returns to action this Saturday when they journey to face the division-leading Indiana University-Kokomo Cougars at 3:00 pm in a big conference showdown.