A pair of late clutch free throws by Emir Sabic followed by a steal by Eric Moses lifted the Lyon College men’s basketball team to a 70-69 season-opening win in overtime against Talladega College on Wednesday night in Becknell Gymnasium.
“That was a really good win for us against a really talented, well-coached team,” said Lyon College men’s basketball head coach Chad Tapp. “I thought we were better defensively in the first half early and then got some guys in foul trouble and struggled. I thought our young guys battled and our older guys did a pretty good job of leading the way tonight. I thought the second half was really well played by both teams for this early in the year.”
The Scots got off to a fast start against the Tornadoes to open up the game as Chave Zackery and Antanas Krimelis opened up the scoring with back-to-back three-pointers. Sabic would help the Scots extend their lead to double-digits by scoring seven of the next nine Lyon College points, including a three-pointer that put the Scots up, 15-5, with 12:28 left in the half. Talladega would slowly chip away at the Lyon College lead, finally breaking through when Da’Jon Streeter’s layup gave the Tornadoes their first lead of the game, 19-18, with just under six minutes left in the half. Talladega would close the half on a 10-5 run to take a 29-23 lead into the break.
Much like the first half, it was all Lyon College from the start of the second half as the Scots opened up with a 14-5 run over the first seven and a half minutes to take a 37-34 lead. The Scots and Tornadoes would go on to trade shot-for-shot as neither team led by more than three points over the next 10 minutes of the game.
Talladega led, 59-56, with just over a minute and a half to go. After a Lyon College turnover, the Tornadoes called a timeout to try to draw up a play to seal the game. Talladega got the ball in the hands of Streeter who had a look at a three-pointer, but his shot hit off the iron and into the hands of Zackery for the Scots. The Scots would work the clock and found freshman Ray Price in the corner of the court for a shot. The freshman hit the biggest shot of his young career to knot the score at 59-59 with 42 seconds left in the game.
The Scots would have one final look to win the game in overtime after forcing Talladega into a turnover, but the Tornadoes kept the Scots off the board and sent the game into overtime.
Sabic would break a 65-65 tie with just under a minute left in the overtime period with a three-pointer from the top of the key. After a pair of free throws by Ramon Johnson brought Talladega within one, Sabic would once again extend the Scots’ lead to three with a pair of free throws. Streeter was fouled on the Tornadoes’ next possession as he hit on a pair of free throws to cut the deficit back to one at 70-69. Trailing by one with less than 10 seconds to go, Josh Burnett grabbed a rebound for Talladega and kicked it ahead to a teammate, but Moses was there to poke the ball away and seal the win for the Scots.
Moses led the Scots with 18 points and five rebounds in the game. Krimelis netted 15 points with five rebounds while Sabic chipped in 14 points. Price added 13 points and five boards. For Talladega, Streeter finished with a game-high 25 points and eight rebounds.
Lyon College will play No. 7 LSU-Shreveport in its next game on Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. inside Becknell Gymnasium.
Lyon College Scot Antanas Krimelis goes for two in the Scots season-opener against Talladega College / Image and article via Lyon College Athletic Department
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