Nighthawks > Buzzer Beater Dooms No. 20 TU Men

| January 8, 2015

TU Basketball 010815

Jason Hendrix, Sports Information Director, Thomas University

BABSON PARK, FL – The Thomas University men’s basketball team suffered its second loss of the season tonight on the road. With 2.7 seconds remaining on the clock, Webber International’s Brian Pace split two Thomas defenders to lay the decisive basket in the net for the 72-70 defeat and upset over the twentieth ranked Night Hawks.

The opening half of the contest was met with hard pressed defense by the Night Hawks that, in time, was evaded by WIU. The Warriors opened with an early 6-2 lead and built on that spread over the first half. While the Night Hawks temporarily had the Warriors within their grasp, WIU continued pressuring TU causing turnovers on the offensive end of the floor.

Thomas faced a 40-36 deficit heading into the intermission. After halftime, the Warriors expanded their growing lead to a height of 11 (52-41) with just under 15 minutes left in the contest.

The Night Hawks paced their potential comeback tying the contest at 68 with 1:35 remaining. The Hunter Green and White gained their first lead since 9:24 remaining in the first half when RJ Sturkie stole the ball from Pace and netted a fast break layup. With 55 seconds remaining in regulation, Jovany Deceus hammered down a monster dunk to even the contest at 70. In the closing seconds, a break down in the Night Hawks’ defensive coverage, leading to Pace’s eventual game winning basket, and an erred inbounds pass for a final heave attempt led the Warriors to their upset victory over No. 20 Thomas.

Senior Alan Love picked up his third double-double of the season netting 15 points while bring down 11 boards. Love’s other double-double performances came in victories against Pensacola Christian (Nov. 1) and Coastal Georgia (Dec. 16). Sturkie also contributed a season high 15 points, four assists, and three rebounds in the losing effort while Javoris Cooks added 10 points to the contest.

“Tonight’s loss stings. It’s hard to win on the road,” stated head coach Stephen Cox. “I need to do a better job coaching, and our guys need to play better. I’m proud of them for being down by 10 late in second half and staying with it.”

Thomas drops to 11-2, 2-1 in TSC play, on the season while the Warriors improve to 5-10, 2-1 on the year.

Cox continued, “We did not turn the ball over as much in second half. Being said, we need to do a better job on the defensive end of the floor to be good in this conference. Conversely, I did see spurts of some good things, and now we have to get ready for a good Warner team at home this weekend.”

The Night Hawks return to action on Saturday, Jan. 10 when they host Sun Conference rival Warner University at the TU Gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 3:00 p.m.


In the nightcap of double-header action, the Thomas University women’s basketball team lost their first conference contest of the season falling to Webber International 75-58 on the road.

The first half was critically damaging to the Lady Night Hawks’ potential upset bid over the Lady Warriors. Poor shooting from the field (6-23, 26.1%) and charity stripe (1-4, 25%) coupled with committing 14 costly turnovers led Thomas to a 42-29 deficit heading into intermission.

WIU, who led the entire contest, continued to increase their lead to 21 (52-31) at its height with 14:46 remaining in regulation. While the Lady Night Hawks equaled their scoring total from the first half (29) and held the Lady Warriors to nine points less than their first half total, the previous gap established in the opening frame was too much to overcome sending WIU to the 75-58 victory.

Senior guard Jessica Anderson led the way for the Lady Night Hawks scoring 13 points while bring down six boards and collecting three steals. Teammates Courtney Saunds and Ivory Smith also turned in well-rounded performances in the losing effort. Saunds netted 11 points while collecting six steals. Smith narrowly missed her first double-double of the season scoring nine points and rebounding nine shots.

Head coach Coretta Brown reflected, “It’s hard to win on the road when shooting 27 percent from the field and 56 percent from the free throw line, all while committing 28 turnovers. We have got to get back to winning in practice and doing the little things.”

Thomas drops to 7-4, 1-1 in TSC play, on the season while the Lady Warriors improve to 10-1, 3-0 on the year.

The Lady Night Hawks return to action on Saturday, Jan. 10 when they host Sun Conference rival Warner University at the TU Gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 1:00 p.m.

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