Pippa Passes, KY: The Alice Lloyd College Eagles, under the guidance of Coach Scott Cornett, traveled to Pikeville to participate in the Appalachian Wireless Classic, hosted by the University of Pikeville.
In game one on Friday, the Eagles faced a very physical Bethel (TN) Wildcats squad. The Wildcats were coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in last season’s NAIA DI Tournament and returned a boatload of talent, so the matchup would be a difficult one.
Bethel came out on fire as they looked to put the game away early. They would race out to a commanding 14-0 lead early in the game and all signs were indicating a huge blowout.
However, ALC senior guard Blake Smith and sophomore guard Bryce Slone began to connect and led a resurgence. The Eagles then clamped down on the defensive end and closed the half on a massive run. At intermission, Alice Lloyd would only trail 42-40.
In the second half, ALC would fight to take the lead and finally go-ahead for the first time (57-55) at 13:28 when Slone drained a 12-foot bucket. When Smith connected on a contested shot in the paint three minutes later, the Eagle lead was six (67-61).
BU would respond with a tough 13-2 spurt of their own during the next five minutes to surge ahead, 74-69. However, the Eagles would answer. A power move inside from sophomore forward Will Philpot and another triple courtesy of Slone would knot things again (74-74) as the clock neared 4:00.
When Bethel scored on two straight trips to extend their lead back to five (79-74), they appeared home-free.
However, ALC clawed their way back once more. When Smith coolly swished two charity tosses at .50, the score stood 81-81.
In need of a good play, the Eagles turned up the heat on defense and forced BU to take a contested three that was off the mark. Unfortunately, the nation’s top rebounding team snagged the carom at .20 and then preceded to run the clock. Finally, with only .02 remaining, leading scorer, 6’9 Cody Edmundson, banked in a 7-footer to give his squad the win.
For the victors (1-0), Edmundson led the way with 20 points.
ALC (0-2) was led in scoring by Smith, who was superb with 29 points on 10-18 shooting. Slone swished in 19 points while senior guard Ian Lee added 10.
Philpot led all players in rebounds with 8 while junior point guard Noah Young handed off 3 assists. Lee, Young, and Philpot all had 3 steals.
Alice Lloyd shot 44.3% (31-70) from the floor, and 26.9% (7-26) from behind the arc. They finished 70.6%% (12-17) from the foul line.
BU finished shooting 47.8% (32-67) from the floor and 33.3% (10-30) from behind the arc. They shot 64.3% (9-14) from the foul line.
In game two on Saturday, ALC faced an athletic Miami-Hamilton Harrier squad. Playing their best defensive game of the young season, the Eagles pulled out a huge 89-50 victory.
In the opening half, the Eagles came out of the gates with impressive defense as they limited their opponents to just one look at the hoop. On offense, in addition to Smith’s steady play, freshman guard Tanner Perdue came off the bench to pump in 16 big points. With Philpot controlling the glass and the entire squad playing inspired ball, ALC would take a staggering 43-15 advantage at intermission.
In the second half, the offensive woes continued for the normally sharp-shooting Harriers as they had trouble against the Alice Lloyd defense. Everyone who entered the contest for the Eagles would contribute in a positive way as the lead grew to 50 points at one point. The bench would see plenty of minutes as the club settled for a satisfying 38-point victory.
ALC (1-2) was led in scoring by Perdue and Smith, who tossed in 20 and 18 points respectively in limited action. Slone would add 10 while Young contributed 9 points and 7 assists.
Philpot would haul down 14 big rebounds while sophomore guard Chandler Stewart had 2 steals. Sophomore center Colyn Sturgill recorded 2 blocks.
Alice Lloyd shot 50% (36-72) from the floor, and 34.6% (9-26) from behind the arc. They finished 5%% (9-14) from the foul line.
MH (0-2) finished shooting just 25.4% (18-71) from the floor and 24% (6-25) from behind the arc. They shot 61.5% (8-13) from the foul line.
The Eagles return to the hardwood on Monday, November 4th, when they host the Kentucky Christian University Knights at 7:30 pm.