Men's Basketball Survives Last Second Shot, Wins 67-66
With AsburyEagles.com writer Matthew Hunter
BEREA, Ky. - A solid defensive stand with less than 14 seconds remaining forced a desperation shot from their hosts that was off the mark at the buzzer and gave the Eagles a big KIAC win-- 67-66 over Berea-- on Tuesday night. Asbury overcame a slow first half start to escape the Seabury Center with the win.
The Mountaineers (11-11, 4-7) used a 10 to nothing run in the first 3:42 to take an early 14-5 lead over the Eagles on their home court. AU would battle back and took just their second lead of the game after senior Lee’Vaughn Morris scored to make it 21-20 with 7:20 remaining.
For the remainder of the half, both teams battled it out, leading to the Eagles’ one-point lead going into the intermission. Seniors Austin Flannery and Morris led the purple-and-white (15-7, 8-4) with seven points in the first stanza.
As the second 20 minutes began it was Asbury this time around that bounced out to an early advantage. Three consecutive possessions resulted in three consecutive 3-point field goals makes from a trio of seniors. Morris, Dakotah Euton, and Cam Richardson sparked a 9-2 run in the first minute and change.
The hosts clawed back to take a four-point lead with 11:54 left. But as had been the case all night, the Eagles responded. Flannery answered back with a free throw and 3-point bomb to tie the game at 48 apiece.
For the remaining 10:55 neither team could secure more than a five point lead. Morris hit a jumper, making it 60-59 in favor of Asbury, and AU never trailed again despite multiple attempts from the hosts. Mountaineer junior Daishon Robinson hit a huge three to tie it up at 66 with less than two minutes to play. On the Eagles’ subsequent possession, Eagles junior CJ Penny hit one-of-two free throws to clinch the game for his squad. It would take the Eagles three consecutive defensive stops to hold off the surging Berea Mountaineers, including the final possession with less than 14 ticks to play.
Morris led all scorers with 17 on 5-12 shooting, 2-4 from downtown, and 5-5 from the charity stripe. In addition to his 17 points, the senior had five rebounds and three assists.
Freshman Tyler Smith started in place of sophomore Kyle Lamb and led everyone with 13 rebounds—accompanying six points—in 28 minutes of play. Other top performers for AU were Flannery with 13, Richardson with nine, Penny with eight, and Euton with five.
The Eagles get a three day break from action before heading to Western Kentucky to take on the Bearcats from Brescia on Saturday. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. EST.