Pippa Passes, KY: For the third consecutive game, the Alice Lloyd College Eagles battled a River States Conference opponent to the buzzer. On this night, a late shot by senior guard Noah Young lifted the home-standing Eagles to a thrilling 74-72 victory over the Midway University Eagles.
In the opening half, the two squads traded buckets for the majority of the stanza, and with 8:00 remaining, Midway led 20-17.
However, sparked by 7 points courtesy of junior guard Bryce Slone, ALC would go on a 14-2 blitz over the next three minutes to suddenly lead 31-22 at the 5:13 mark.
Surprisingly, the host Eagles would suddenly go cold and only score one point the remainder of the half. This lack of offense, combined with six points from Midway guard Krizell Mitchell, led to a 32-32 tie by intermission.
In the second half, MU would keep the momentum as they produced a 10-2 run in the first four minutes. With 15:56 remaining to play, the visitors led 42-34. Over a roughly ten-minute span, the Central Kentucky club had produced a huge 20-3 run and appeared to be in total command of the game.
Fortunately, one thing Coach Scott Cornett’s team has shown all year is that you can never count them out. Like flicking on a light switch, the Caney Creek boys suddenly woke up and produced a stunning 13-2 run in just two minutes. Suddenly they led 47-44 at the 13:42 mark.
The two opponents would continue to trade hoops, and the score stood tied at 68-68 with 2:28 left in regulation.
At 2:00, Caney Creek big man Colyn Sturgill would be fouled on a post-move. He coolly drained both free throws to give the home team the lead (70-68).
On the next possession, Young picked off a pass and fed a streaking Slone for the layup. Now with 1:31 left, ALC led 72-68. All they needed was one more defensive stop.
Naturally, it wouldn’t be that easy. On their ensuing trip, Midway would bring the ball down, draw a foul, and sink two free throws (72-70). Incredibly, they would then pick off the inbounds pass and hit a layup. Just like that, the game was knotted at 72-72 with 1:00 to play.
Next, MU would then get another steal, but Sturgill would make the key defensive play of the game, blocking the layup and getting the ball back for his club with .38 left to play.
The Pippa Passes crew would turn to the savvy veteran Young. With just 10 ticks remaining, the point guard would make a beautiful driving shot to put the hosts ahead 74-72.
Looking to take the lead, the visitors would miss a contested three-pointer at .05. In the scramble for the loose ball, the possession arrow was with Midway, giving them one final chance at .02.
MU would look to run a play to the corner, but guard Donnie Miller would step on the end line, giving the ball back to the home squad.
With only 1 second remaining, Alice Lloyd missed the free throw as time ran out with no chance for a shot.
For the victorious Eagles (8-3), three players reached double figures. They were led on the night by Slone with 17 points on 7-11 field goals. Young produced 15 points, 13 coming in the critical second half, on 5-9 field goals and 5-6 free throws. Junior forward Will Philpot came through with 10 points (4-6 field goals), 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Sophomore forward Damon Tobler added 9 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals while Sturgill added 4 rebounds and contributed 6 huge blocks.
ALC shot 48.3% (28-58) from the field and 20% (3-15) from long range. They sank 75% (15-20) from the foul line. They added 28 rebounds, 7 assists, and 7 steals.
For Midway (3-6), Mitchell and Miller had 24 and 20 points respectively. Their club finished shooting 49.1% (27-55) from the floor and 23.5% (4-17) from behind the arc. They hit 82.4% (14-17) from the foul line. They also added 35 rebounds, 4 assists, and 11 steals.
ALC returns to action this week on Thursday the 21st when they host Ohio Christian University at 7 pm. They close out the week on Saturday the 23rd when they play at Oakland City University.