New Albany, IN: Junior forward Will Philpot drained an eighteen-foot jumper with .04 remaining to lift the Alice Lloyd College Eagles to a thrilling 75-74 come-from-behind victory over the home-standing Indiana University Southeast Grenadiers Wednesday night. The contest was the River States Conference season opener for both clubs.
IUS had opened the season with a brutal schedule and was banking on using that to prepare them for all-important conference play. Early in the contest, the strategy worked like a charm as they roared out to a 14-2 advantage before the Eagles knew what hit them.
Alice Lloyd forward Damon Tobler muscled in 13 first-half points to lead a resurgence. Unfortunately, behind leading scorer Glenn Hill Jr. and 6’11 Richard Lang, the Hoosier state club would hold a solid 47-36 cushion at intermission.
In the second half, the Caney Creek crew would fight to cut into the deficit. Over the first six minutes, junior guard Bryce Slone would swish consecutive bombs and Philpot would add six points of his own to spark a 14-7 burst and shrink the score to 54-50.
However, despite the solid effort, Southeast would continue to hold their advantage. A jumper at 2:12 saw the hosts push the score to 74-67, and the Grenadiers appeared to have the matchup in the bag.
Happily, the Caney Creek crew refused to wave the white flag. First, fifth-year senior guard Noah Young banked in a mid-range jumper at 2:02 (74-69). Next, after a defensive stop, sophomore guard Ben Soumahoro would score on a mid-range jumper at 1:26 (74-71).
On their next possession, IUS ran the clock down looking for a good shot, but tough defense from ALC forced a long jumper that was off the mark. Later, after Tobler scored on a strong move to the goal, the score suddenly stood 74-73 with just .32 showing.
On the next possession with the stunned crowd watching, the Eagles applied pressure defense and forced a turnover. Suddenly, Alice Lloyd had the ball with a chance to win and .24 ticks left.
ALC would take a timeout at .10. On the ensuing possession, Tobler would get the ball in the paint. When Southeast dropped to help, he kicked the ball out to Philpot who coolly let an 18-foot jumper fly. When it found the bottom of the net, the Eagles had their first lead of the contest, 75-74, with just 4.2 seconds left to play.
Desperately, the hosts raced up court and got off a running 20-foot shot just before the buzzer sounded. When it ricocheted harmlessly off the rim, the stunning comeback was complete.
For the victors (4-0) Philpot would lead the way with a game-high 22 points (9-13 FG). He also grabbed 11 rebounds to earn his third double-double of the young season. He was followed in scoring by his buddy Tobler, who sank 7-11shots and finished with 20 points. He also joined the double-duo club as he nabbed 11 rebounds of his own. Slone who drained 6-9 from long range, including several clutch bombs to keep the squad in striking distance, would finish with 18. Young would lead the team with 5 assists.
Alice Lloyd shot 42.6 % (29-68) from the floor and 42.6% (8-14) from behind the arc. They finished 57.1%% (8-14) from the foul line. They also gained 43 rebounds, while adding 13 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block.
Indiana (1-6) was led by Hill and Jathan Ritter, both with 15 points. Their squad shot 44.9% (31-69) from the floor, and 34.5% (10-29) from behind the arc. They finished 66.7%% (2-3) from the foul line, and also had 37 rebounds, 13 assists, and 1 steal.
The Eagles return to action for a Friday RSC contest at Indiana University Kokomo. Tipoff is set for 1:00 pm.