Asbury Upsets No. 15 Indiana Southeast
WILMORE, Ky. – A balanced attack and strong shooting performance propelled Asbury to a 78-75 victory over No. 15 Indiana Southeast on Thursday night in the Luce Center. Asbury has defeated three ranked teams in the past two years, twice beating Indiana Southeast at home.
A tightly contested game throughout, as neither team led by more than seven points, was flipped in favor of Asbury when senior guard Brock Hurtle nailed a three with 9:43 remaining to give the Eagles the lead at 58-56, a lead they would not relinquish. Hurtle would finish with eight points as the Eagles connected on 12-of-32 from long range.
Asbury (8-12, 2-4 KIAC) would push the lead to seven on three different occasions inside the final six minutes, each time answering a rally by the Grenadiers. IUS would pull to within one with five seconds left but sophomore Lee’Vaughn Morris made both free throws to give the Eagles a three point lead. Morris would finish with a game and career-high 21 points, highlighted by a four-for-five mark from beyond the three point line. Wes Cox’s half court shot at the buzzer would miss wide left.
"This was a big win for us tonight," said head coach Will Shouse. "We needed to come out and compete from the start and we did that. We made some shots that haven't been falling for us lately and got a solid performance from all of the guys. Indiana Southeast is a tough team and to beat a nationally ranked team will only help. A great way to kick-off a four game homestand."
Sophomore Marquel Johnson only made six shots on the night, but all six were worth three as the guard finished with 19 points and five assists. Fellow sophomore Austin Flannery made two threes and finished with 11 points and Dakotah Euton was five-for-six inside the arc to finish with 10 points and seven rebounds. Justin Jones just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds; he also added three assists and three blocks.
Indiana Southeast scored 36 points in the paint led by their big forward off the bench, Joe Lawson, with 21 points. Lawson was seven-of-nine from the floor and seven-of-eight from the free throw line.
The Grenadiers took a 47-40 lead into halftime with a 9-0 run to close the half. In the first frame Indiana Southeast made six threes and nine free throws. Asbury shot only two free throws but was able to hang around thanks to nine made three-pointers. IUS would make only two threes in the second half and only four-of-eight from the line while Asbury made nine-of-12 from the charity stripe.
The Eagles won the battle on the boards 40-38. In addition to Jones’ 10 boards, Euton and Johnson each pulled down seven. Lawson led the Grenadiers with seven.
Both teams shot almost identical numbers from the floor (Asbury- 43%, IUS 42%) and the Eagles turned the ball over 13 times to the Grenadiers’ seven, but the difference came from beyond the arc. Asbury came into the game ranked third in NAIA II with 9.7 threes made per game and nearly tied that mark with nine in the first half, finishing with 14. Just two days ago Asbury made only 11-of-44 against Alice Lloyd in a 69-64 loss, but on Thursday they would connect on 14-of-37.
Asbury will travel to Indiana Southeast on February 18 in the return game. The Eagles will have a week off before hosting Cincinnati Christian on Thursday February 2 at 7:30 pm.