Upset Slips by Eagles in Double OT Thriller
NEW ALBANY, Ind. – Asbury has beaten a ranked Indiana Southeast in each of the last two seasons, but a third season will have to wait until at least Feb. 16 after an epic 97-92 double-overtime win for IUS on Saturday night. IUS entered the game ranked 14 in the latest NAIA II poll. They were ranked 15 in the Asbury wins each of the last two years, both of those wins came in the Luce Center. Asbury hasn't beaten IUS in New Albany since 2007.
The game was like a heavyweight fight, each team trading blows but neither one dropping. The Eagles (11-9, 2-3 KIAC) controlled nearly the entire first half and much of the second before IUS (17-3, 7-0 KIAC) took the lead at 57-54. The Eagles held their lead throughout the first half despite Adam Delph playing just four minutes due to two early fouls. Nine players scored in the half for Asbury, led by CJ Penny’s seven.
Delph responded with 22 of his game-high 28 after halftime, sending the game to overtime with two free throws with 13.4 seconds left. In the first overtime period the Eagles had their best chance to win the game. Penny – who suffered a hip injury after a hard fall late in the game – had a chance at the game-winning free throw with 56 seconds left after scoring the game-tying basket. Penny finished with 22 points in his first start, shooting 10-of-21 from the floor and grabbing seven rebounds in 35 minutes.
After the missed free throw and subsequent turnover by IUS the Eagles again had a chance to win it but Delph missed. The Grenadiers wouldn’t get a shot off in the final seconds. In the second overtime session IUS jumped out to an early lead but Asbury responded to take the lead back at 92-91 on two Mitch McLeish free throws with 1:57 to play.
After an IUS basket, Delph was whistled for a charge, his fifth foul. Kevin Mitchell made his 10th and 11th free throws to push the lead to three with 13 seconds left and the Eagles turned it over on their next possession to seal their fate with four seconds to play.
Mitchell scored 22 points for the Grenadiers, half coming on free throws where he was a perfect 11-of-11. His brother Cameron led IUS with 24 points, also making 11 free throws in 14 attempts before fouling out. The Grenadiers as a team made 35-of-43 from the line including 19-of-24 in the second half alone. The Eagles were 27-of-33 in the game. Delph was a perfect 11-of-11 from the line.
Overall the Eagles shot 41.1-percent from the floor and only made 5-of-17 from three-point range. IUS shot 44.3-percent overall. Each team turned the ball over 19 times and Asbury won the battle on the boards 44-41. Dakotah Euton led all players with 11 rebounds and played a game-high 45 of 50 minutes.
Asbury had four players foul out including three starters in Lee’Vaughn Morris, Delph and Justin Jones as well as McLeish. IUS saw two players disqualified with five fouls in Chet Wernecke and Cameron Mitchell. The Eagles were whistled for 32 fouls and IUS just 22.
This was the 45th meeting between the two teams dating back to 1995 and only the fourth game to go to overtime. It was the first to go to double overtime. Each team has won two of the overtime games while IUS holds a 30-15 overall advantage. Asbury played only four double overtime games and one triple overtime games in their history. They are 2-2 in double OT with a 111-99 win over Madonna in their last double OT game back in the 2010-11 season. Overall Asbury is 16-9 in overtime games.
With a 2-3 KIAC record the Eagles have some work left to do but can easily move up the ranks with three games next week. IUS remains one of two perfect teams at 7-0 and will play fellow unbeaten in Berea this week.
Asbury and IUS will meet again near the end of the season in Wilmore on Feb. 16. The Eagles will host Cincinnati Christian on Tuesday at 8pm in their next game.