Centre loses 69-68 in OT

December 10, 2004|HAL MORRIS

All night long, Centre College battled from behind.

The Colonels trailed by 10 at the half and by nine with 5:16 to play, but Centre forced overtime here Thursday night against Transylvania with an 11-2 closing run.

Down by one in overtime, the Colonels had a chance to win on the game's last shot. However, Josh Bell's shot from the right wing was off and the Pioneers held on for a 69-68 win.

"For the fans, it had to be a fantastic game to watch. Both teams played with a a lot of heart. I think you have to give our guys a tremendous amount of credit for even putting the game into overtime," Centre coach Greg Mason said. "How we did that I'll really never know. Just heart and effort."


Down 57-48, John Patterson scored on a putback, Coy Zerhusen sank a pair of free throws and Matt Jacobson hit a 3-pointer to get Centre within a basket at 57-55 with 1:39 left.

A drive and jumper from Matt Finke put Transy up 59-55, but Jacobson scored on a lay-up and Zerhusen hit a running jumper in the lane with 12 seconds left to force overtime.

"It's something I need to start doing. I need to start driving and start attacking the rim more. I was settling for jump shots. It's just a situation where we knew they weren't going to foul there," said Zerhusen, who scored 13 and grabbed eight boards. "They were just going to keep their hands up and anyone attacking the rim was going to get a look at it."

Colonels finally take lead

Since a 6-6 tie two minutes into the game, Transy had led. The Colonels finally took the lead in overtime at 64-62 on Reggie Magnusson's basket and free throw. But that lead lasted only 12 seconds as the Pioneers (5-1) scored seven of the final 11 points. Finke's free throws tied it and Bryan Howard's 3-pointer put Transylvania up for good, 67-64.

"They did a tremendous job of getting back into the game late. There were a couple of things that helped them. We didn't take care of the basketball as strongly as we should have," Transylvania coach Brian Lane said.

Magnusson, who picked up two quick fouls and played just six minutes in the first half, used all of his 6-7, 235-pound frame to get the Colonels back in the game in the second half. He scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half and overtime, and Mason said it was no coincidence the Colonels (6-2) made their charge then.

"We're so relying on him that when he picks up those two quick fouls, that really changes the way we play," he said. "Reggie, when he was on the floor was hard to guard on the post."

Magnusson's presence also helped on the boards, where the Colonels held a 42-29 edge, including a 16-2 advantage on the offensive glass.

"We just became a little more aggressive. The first half, Reg came out with two fouls real quick. That really put us back on our heels," Mason said. "The second half we hit a couple of shots and crashed the offensive glass. The offensive glass kept us in the game."

Poor free throw shooting hurt

A 16-for-30 effort at the foul line did not help the Colonels. The Pioneers were 20 of 30 at the line.

"A tight game like this, a one-point game to Transy, those free throws come back and bite you," Mason said.

Transy got its lead back to 10 at 50-40 with 9:06 left in regulation on Finke's 3-pointer from the right wing.

But Centre would not let the Pioneers put this one way, forcing six turnovers and dominating the boards the rest of the way to get into overtime.

"Down the stretch we had a lot of heart and made a lot of plays we needed to make. Our deficit in the first half got us down, and to battle back the way we did showed a lot of heart," Zerhusen said. "I think everybody realized we had to buckle down and make some stops. I know Kyle Roby (nine points) had a couple of loose balls and got a couple of deflections and things like that.

""We picked up our intensity. We should have played like that the whole game, and if we had it might have been a different story."

Finke had a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead Transylvania and Bryan Howard added 12.

Centre was 25 of 63 from the floor (39.7 percent) while Transy was 21-for-44 shooting.

Central Kentucky News Articles