Winona Lake: The Alice Lloyd College Eagles returned to action in the NCCAA DI Basketball Tournament to face an extremely athletic Southwestern Christian (OK) Eagles squad. The Pippa Passes boys bounced back strong from a disappointing opening game loss with a solid performance to get back in the win column, 78-67. The contest was played on March 17th in Winona Lake, Indiana.
In the first half, the two squads battled tooth and nail, but the Bluegrass boys led most of the way. Sparked by the long-range bombing from junior guard Bryce Slone plus some big shots from senior guard Noah Young and sophomore forward Ben Soumahoro, the ALC Eagles led, 42-40 at intermission.
In the second half, the Oklahoma squad would score first, provided by a triple from Ronald Washington to 0take the lead, 43-42. However, the Caney Creek crew would answer right back with a bucket from sophomore forward Damon Tobler to regain the advantage, (44-43).
From that point, the momentum would change, as ALC would dig deep and step up on both ends of the floor. They would roll off a big 19-6 run over the next six minutes to vault ahead, 61-49.
For the entire final half defensively, the Kentucky Eagles would hold SC to just 37% shooting, and see junior forward Will Philpot control the boards. On offense, they would move the ball well and connect to the tune of 51.7%. Due to this combination, they would control the game till the final horn sounded to earn the solid victory.
For the Eagles (27-6), Slone would lead all scorers with 19 points (5-8 3FG) He also added 5 assists. Young sank 8-16 shots to finish right behind with 19 points. He added a game-high 6 assists and joined Slone with 3 steals each. Tobler would chip in with 14 points (6-12FG) while Soumahoro added 11. Philpot led everyone with 11 rebounds.
Alice Lloyd shot 48.4 % (30-62) from the floor and 33.3 % (5-15) from behind the arc. They finished 65% (13-20) from the foul line. The Eagles also garnered 37 rebounds, while adding 15 assists, and 11 steals.
SC (14-14) was led by Washington with 18 points. His squad shot 41.4% (24-58) from the floor, and 31% (9-29) from behind the arc. They finished 76.9% (10-13) from the foul line, and also had 33 rebounds, 13 assists, and 8 steals.
The Eagles have to quickly regroup once more as each team plays three games in the tournament. They will return to the hardwood Friday at 5:00 pm when they close the season battling the Asbury University Eagles. This will mark the fourth meeting of the year between the two squads, with ALC holding a 2-1 advantage.