The LC Men's Basketball team improved to 7-3 on the season with a double overtime win over Eastern Nazarene College out of Quincy, Massachusetts, at the Naples Shootout. The 91-87 victory gives the Panthers back-to-back wins and puts them undefeated over the winter holiday.
The first half was a low-scoring affair, with no team grabbing a lead of more than seven points in the entire half. LC went on a 7-0 run in the last minute of the half, capped off by Zac Hill free throws and jumper with just six seconds to go. He led all scorers with 13 points and went six of eight from the field as the Panthers held a 28-24 lead into halftime.
The second half was a scrappy and much higher scoring affair. The Panthers' lead grew to seven on a Gabe Cofield three directly out of halftime, but it never grew. The lead never got above two scores after the three, and with two and half minutes to go, the Panthers found themselves in a 64-60 deficit. More clutch shooting by Hill, who scored all but one of LC's points in the last two minutes, put the game tied at 66 with just 20 seconds remaining. Eastern Nazarene missed a three and the game headed to OT.
Overtime looked grim at the start for the Panthers. They fell behind and early in the five-minute period, Hill fouled out. He was one of four Panthers who eventually fouled out. With 1:42 to go, the Panthers again found themselves in a hole, this time by eight points. Good free throw shooting and even better defense saw LC go on a 9-1 run, capped by two Kyle Smith free throws with 24 seconds left to tie the game again at 78 and into another overtime period.
Double OT finally went the Panthers' way. Bershard Edwards took over the period, scoring nine points in the period while being the only remaining LC starter on the floor due to fouls. Two free throws made by Edwards with 1:10 left made the LC lead six, but Eastern Nazarene again cut into the Panther lead, as LC held a slim two-point advantage with just five seconds remaining. Tayshawn Pendleton iced the game with two free throws, and at the horn LC finished off a 91-87 win.
Hill led the Panthers with 28 points on the afternoon, going 12 of 18 from the field, while also snagging seven rebounds. Edwards finished with 22 of his own, while also having a team-high five assists, four steals and five rebounds. LC was led in rebounding by Kyle Brown and Camerin Lyons, who combined for 25 rebounds on the day. Smith also had seven points and Lyons had eight.
The game was one for the record books, with the two teams combining for 59 fouls, 90 free throw attempts, and 60 made free throws. LC gave up 21 turnovers compared to Eastern Nazarene's 13.
LC will look to go 2-0 in Naples, finishing the tournament tomorrow at 11 a.m. against Pacific Lutheran.
Story by Eli Rogers