Men’s basketball suffers loss in overtime

Sarah Loesch

The men’s basketball team faced Maryville University Sunday afternoon in the Physical Activities Center in a game that was not fully decided until the final seconds of overtime.

The game had 12 lead changes and was tied nine times.

The Eagles struggled offensively in the first half and were 30.3 percent from field goal range. They were also 3-11 from behind the three-point line, which attributed to the team’s 26-point score at the end of the first half.

They did not lead for the entire first half and the game was tied for only a 1:03.

The Eagles were 75 percent from the free throw line, which sophomore guard Bobo Drummond said helped them stay in the game.

The Eagles cut the lead to seven with about four minutes left to play in the first half, but headed into halftime trailing by 12.

The team headed to the locker room, where Head Coach Rodney Watson said he and the team discussed both how they could increase their offense and strengthen their defense on Maryville.

“We talked about not letting the ball come out of the double teams, and we talked about pressuring the pass more to make it tough for them to get real rhythm shots,” Watson said. “Then we talked about how we were going to score.”

The Eagles entered the second half visibly stronger than in the first half. The team started to chip away at the lead Maryville had constructed, and at 12:24, senior guard Gavin Schumann hit a layup, which gave USI a one-point lead.

Maryville regained the lead and from then on it was a mix of ties and lead changes that eventually led to a score of 66-66.

The Eagles had a chance to attempt a shot, but could not find the opportunity. So the game headed into overtime.

Overtime was a back and forth game, with both teams trading one-point leads. The Eagles found themselves in the same situation they were in during the last seconds of regulation and searched for a last second shot.

They were unable to find the basket in those last seconds and the game ended with Maryville winning 71-72.

Despite the tough loss, the Eagles had strong performances from multiple players and Coach Watson said everyone attributed something to the game.

“Everybody had a good play,” Watson said.

Senior guard TeNale Roland led the team with 29 points and four steals during his 42 minutes on the court. He also had five rebounds and missed only one of his 13 free throws.

Following Roland was senior guard Gavin Schumann, who had 16 points and three rebounds.

Rounding out the top three scorers was senior forward Austin Davis, who scored 11 points and had eight rebounds.

The loss ended the Eagle’s time in the GLVC tournament, and the team will have to wait and see if its post-season will include an appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Midwest Regional pairings will be announced on March 8, and the Eagles could be given an at-large bid that would place them in the tournament.