LC men fall short in overtime

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The Louisiana College men’s basketball team played with the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots all night, forcing the game into overtime, but the Wildcats did not have enough in the tank to finish the game, falling 93-83 on Thursday night. Four different players scored in double figures in the game but the effort was not enough to carry the Wildcats to their first conference win of the season. LC will take on the University of the Ozarks on Saturday afternoon in Arkansas in their next outing.

Throughout the entire evening, especially in the first half, the Wildcats and Patriots played back-and-forth basketball. The biggest lead of the half was by the Patriots at 39-35 with just over a minute left in the half. The Wildcats quickly got it down to one on the next possession thanks to an “and-1” play from Taylan Grogan. A fast break layup following an LC miss gave the Patriots the slim 41-38 lead heading into the halftime break.

The tight game continued in the second half, with five quick points by the Wildcats, a layup form Devon Washington and a three-ball from Lashard Powell, put LC ahead 43-41 just 90 seconds into the half. The Cats held the lead for the majority of the next nine minutes of game time, including enjoying a seven-point advantage during the stretch. A layup at the 9:47 mark of the second half started a 12-3 Patriots run that put them up by seven with just over six minutes left.

The lead quickly vanished as freshman Lashard Powell caught fire from behind the arc. Powell drilled two long balls following UTT turnovers and miss shots on back-to-back trips on the LC offensive end to put the Wildcats back on top 71-70 with five minutes left. Powell was even more clutch for the Wildcats down the stretch of the fourth quarter following the back-to-back three point shots. He made two free throws with 12 seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 79 and thus sending the game into overtime.

The extra effort that the Wildcats expended in the latter part of the fourth hurt them in overtime as the Patriots took advantage early to build a six-point lead after Travis Schultz tied the game again at 81, one minute into the extra frame. Perfect free throw shooting in overtime by UTT prevented the Wildcats from gaining any ground and the Patriots took the 93-83 win.

Lashard Powell led the team with 23 points, a new career best for the first-year Wildcat. Devon Washington finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Travis Schultz put on a shooting clinic, making 8-of-10 shots in the game for 19 points.

The Wildcats travel to Ozarks on Saturday for a date with the Eagles before playing their first game in H.O. West Fieldhouse this season on next Thursday against East Texas Baptist. The game will serve as the annual “Fill the Fieldhouse” event during basketball season.