Eagles upset No. 15 Indiana Southeast
WILMORE, Ky. – Phillip Morrison (Louisville, Ky.) hit two free throws with 7.1 seconds left to give Asbury an 82-80 victory over No. 15 Indiana Southeast on Saturday night snapping a nine game losing streak to the Grenadiers.
Reginald Breeden for IUS had a chance to tie the game with 2.3 seconds left but missed two free throws and Morrison pulled down the rebound to seal the victory.
Morrison finished with a team-high 28 points, his ninth 20-point game this season and second straight. The game continued to rock back and forth as there were six ties and six lead changes, but it didn’t always look to be going that way. The Grenadiers went on a 9-0 run early after a 6-6 tie. Morrison immediately responded with one of his five threes to keep the Eagles from getting blown out early.
After turning the ball over 11 times in the first half, Asbury only gave it up four more times in the second half.
“Ball handling was our main focus at halftime,” said Asbury coach Will Shouse. “We didn’t want to take any chances with our passes and give up easy baskets. We needed to improve our decision making, and we did.”
Asbury (11-6, 2-1 KIAC) wasn’t able to stop Indiana Southeast (10-8, 3-1 KIAC) from doing what they normally do, which is to shoot and make threes. The Grenadiers came in leading NAIA DII in three-pointers made per game (10.6) and were fifth in scoring offense (88.4), and on Saturday they were nearly on both those marks with 10 made threes and 80 points. The difference for the Eagles came by slowing down Jazzmarr Ferguson.
The nation’s sixth leading scorer was held to 16 points, seven below his season average. The senior guard was limited to 6-of-16 shooting and did not take a free throw.
“Nate Johnson and Jamal Morris did such a good job guarding Jazzmarr tonight, making him take tough, contested shots,” said Shouse. “We were able to rotate fresh guys on him and really make him work off the ball.”
Asbury took their biggest lead of the game at seven with 4:39 remaining as Brock Hurtle (North Vernon, Ind.) hit a three. Hurtle would finish 4-of-5 from the floor and 10 points off the bench. Asbury’s bench scored 28 points. Jamal Morris (Nashville, Tenn.) scored 10 points and knocked down a three just minutes before Hurtle’s to break a 65-65 tie. That’s when the crowd started to ramp up their enthusiasm.
“It was important to bounce back after Tuesday’s home loss with a good effort. Our crowd really got behind us at the end and helped push us to the finish,” said Shouse. Asbury opened up KIAC play on Tuesday with a 107-83 loss to Indiana East.
Flip Crawford (Atlanta, Ga.) led all players with 13 rebounds, including five offensive for Asbury. Crawford would score five points and lead all players with five assists. The Eagles grabbed 37 total rebounds and IUS claimed 39. The Grenadiers had 14 offensive rebounds but only managed seven second change points.
Rick Bodiford led IUS with 32 points and tied the game at 80 with 31 seconds left on his only three point attempt of the night. The Grenadiers shot 44% from the floor and 40% from long range as the Eagles would finish at 48% overall and 40% from distance.
The Eagles beat IUS for the first time since 2007 when they beat them in all three meetings.
Asbury will travel to Berea for another KIAC game on Tuesday January 18 at 7:30 pm. Berea is the only unbeaten in the conference at 2-0 and 11-7 overall.