Late Surge Sinks Pirates: Indians Come Back From 15 Down
February 6, 2008
By Chipola Staff
Down by four with 1:06 to play,
Chipola outscored Pensacola 7-0 to
end the game, propelling the
nation’s number three team to a
73-70 win over the Pirates on
Tuesday evening in Marianna, Fl.
Chipola freshman guard Vernon Teel raced to the rim and drew contact on consecutive possessions for the Indians, helping to complete a turnaround of a one-time 15 point second half deficit. Teel would sink all four of his foul line attempts to knot the game up at 70-70 with just 35 seconds remaining.
The Pirates, who had an opportunity to hold for the final shot of regulation, missed a three point field goal at the top of the key with just 12 seconds to go.
Sophomore Malik Alvin then took an outlet pass from coast to coast, hitting a running lay-up and drawing a foul with 3 seconds left in regulation. Alvin would connect on the ensuing free throw to complete the three point play.
Chipola then batted away the final full court pass attempt from Pensacola, helping the Indians move to 25-1 on the season.
“It was a win,” said Chipola coach Greg Heiar. “We played poorly for a long stretch in the game, but when it got down to when we had to make plays, our guys responded.”
After having raced out to an early 15-1 lead, the Indians stumbled for the final 14 minutes of the first half, eventually heading into the locker room down 35-36.
Their woes would continue, as Pensacola surged to a fifteen point advantage midway through the second half.
“We just are not playing strong with the basketball,” said Heiar. “We had too many turnovers where we weren’t able to make plays after contact was initiated. We have to get tougher.”
After 13 turnovers in the first half, the Indians seemed to cure their inability to handle the ball. They ended the game with 17 giveaways.
However, after shooting 50% from the field in the first 20 minutes, Chipola struggled to score for much of the 2nd period. Despite a quick six points on their first three possessions of the second half, the Indians managed to go just 2 of 17 during the next 10 minutes of the half. Chipola would shoot just 36% in the game’s final 20 minutes.
“We’re getting good looks at the basket,” said Heiar, “but we just are struggling at times to find our offensive rhythm.”
With 4:35 to play, Chipola founds its offense. They would go on a quick 9-0 run during the next minute, cutting the deficit to 64-65.
“We have the ability to score points in bunches,” added Heiar. “We just need to do a better job of letting our defense create easy scoring opportunities. That’s when we start to get into the flow of the game and knock down our shots.”
Four Indians reached double figures in scoring, with sophomore guard Clevin Hannah leading the way. He connected on his first three 3pt-field goals. He ended the night with a 14 point performance.
Freshman Casey Mitchell went 3 of 6 from the 3pt line, helping him reach 12 points on the evening.
Sophomore Mario Little scored 11 points and freshman Gary Flowers had 10 points and 7 rebounds as Chipola improved to 7-1 in the Panhandle Conference.
Up next for the Indians is a road contest with Tallahassee. The February 9 match-up will begin the final round of league play for both schools.
Chipola defeated the Eagles in overtime 89-84 on January 26th and 86-58 on January 5th. The game can be heard live via webcast on Saturday at 6:30 pm CST.