Lyon men’s basketball falls in overtime thriller to Columbia

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The Scots fell in overtime in the semifinals over the AMC Championship to Columbia College, 73-70

BATESVILLE, Ark. – The top-seeded Lyon College men’s basketball team rallied back from an 11-point halftime deficit to force overtime, but fell to No. 4-seed Columbia College, 73-70, in the semifinals of the American Midwest Conference Championship on Saturday afternoon at Becknell Gymnasium.

The Scots dropped to 11-5 with the loss and will wait to see if they receive an at-large bid for the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round during the selection show on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Cougars improved to 17-6 and will play No. 2-seed Central Baptist College on Tuesday night for the AMC Tournament championship at 7 p.m. in Conway, Ark.

Neither team was able to gain much of an advantage against the other for much of the first half until an 8-0 run by the Cougars gave Columbia a 27-20 lead with 2:57 left in the half. Columbia extended its lead to 10 with just under a minute left to play but a steal and a layup by Hunter Daley cut the deficit back to eight. The Cougars took a 37-26 lead at the half as Harrison Vickers knocked down a three just as time expired.

The Cougars controlled a double-digit lead for much of the second half until five-straight points by Ray Price sparked a 15-0 run for the Scots as Lyon overtook the lead, 56-55, with 1:31 left in regulation. The two teams went on to exchange leads before a pair of free throws by Vickers put CC ahead, 61-58. Down to their last chance, the Scots found Fairs Verlasevic on the wing, who took an off-balanced three, as the senior able to connect on the clutch shot to force overtime.

Daley gave the Scots an early 64-61 lead in overtime with a three before four-straight points by Columbia’s Tony Burks gave CC a 65-64 advantage. The Cougars and Scots went on to trade leads for the next couple of minutes until a layup by Burks gave CC a one-point before Jack Fritsche added the final two points of the game from the charity stripe.

Cole Anderson, Price, and Verlasevic all led the Scots with 13 points each, while Daley added 12 off the bench.

Article by Matt Jagodzinski, Assistant Athletic Director for Media and Communications

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