Night Hawks > Wildcats Caged on Senior Night

| February 16, 2015

Thomas U 021615

Jason Hendrix, Thomas University Sports Information Director 

THOMASVILLE – Senior Night for any team is always a special occasion.  Tonight was no exception.  Thomas’ five seniors, Keldrick Davis, Max Grace, Marcus Humose, Alan Love, and Rodney Sturkie, all delivered in a come-from-behind 73-66 victory over Johnson and Wales in front of their home crowd for the final time in their career as a Night Hawk.

Today’s victory surpasses last year’s win total (17) with the Night Hawks picking up their eighteenth victory of the year.

In the first half, baskets just seem to not fall in Thomas’ favor.  The Night Hawks shot 12-for-26 from the field and lost the rebounding battle 16-12.  While the Night Hawks did win the turnovers battle, the squad came up short at the half with the Wildcats leading 37-32.

Head coach Stephen Cox regrouped his players’ focus, and the Night Hawks responded.  The Hunter Green and White took their first lead (17-16) since 10:21 remaining in the first half on a put-back lay in by junior Ty Bull.  The 60-59 lead with 4:20 left would start the fire for Thomas leading to an 8-1 run to give the Night Hawks the 68-60 lead with 53 seconds on the clock.  Sturkie would close out the game with a fast break lay in before Coach Cox pulled all his seniors out one last time in front of their sixth man and hometown crowd.

After a brief pause for applause and congratulations, the reserves came in to shut down JWU en route to the 73-66 victory.

“Another come from behind, home victory,” exclaimed Cox.  “I’m proud of the mental toughness these guys showed. They converted some key stops and scores down the stretch. Getting to the free throw line as much as we did was a huge factor in our win. Johnson and Wales shot 50% from the field in first half, and that was killing us. We tightened up our pressure defense in the second half and got more rebounds and easy points in transition. We plan on seeing JWU at some point again in the conference tourney. We’ve got a huge game on Tuesday. I’m happy for the seniors in their win in their last regular season game in front of the home crowd! Great fans tonight! Thank you for that!”

Love led the Night Hawks on the night narrowly missing his fifth double-double of the season.  The College Park, Ga., native scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds while dishing out two assists.  Grace was also in double figures netting 11 points with six rebounds, three assists, and two steals.  JWU’s Luke Walters had a game high of 23 points in the Wildcats’ losing effort.

Thomas improves to 18-8, 9-7 TSC play, on the season while Johnson and Wales drops to 17-9, 9-7 on the year.

The Night Hawks return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 17 when they travel to Daytona, Fla., to face No. 2 Embry-Riddle (26-1, 14-1).  The Night Hawks look to pick up the season sweep over their Sun Conference rival as ERAU’s only loss (77-70) of the season was suffered at the hands of Thomas on January 20.  Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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