Nighthawks > Thomas Puts Out the Fire

| February 11, 2015
Photos courtesy of Rachel Wiggins

Photos courtesy of Rachel Wiggins

Jason Hendrix, Thomas University Sports Information Director

THOMASVILLE – In the closing seconds of the game, the Thomas University men’s basketball team put out the Fire of Southeastern University when senior forward Alan Love slammed two numbing dunks into the goal with just 12 and five seconds left on the clock to defeat SEU 79-76 at home in front of a White Out themed crowd.

While Southeastern’s Timothy Mitchell threw up a final desperation heave from half court that bottomed out of the rim, the last ditch effort came up short of sending the game into overtime. The Night Hawks picked up their seventeenth victory of the year tying the single-season record for wins for men’s basketball since Thomas reinstated the program in 2013.
The Night Hawks, who have now defeated their fourth ranked opponent of the 2014-2015 season, held the 49-36 lead heading into the intermission.

In the second half, the Fire slowly chipped away at Thomas’ lead and eventually tied the game at 52-52 with 15:05 remaining in regulation. The Fire capped off an offensive explosion over the next five minutes to take a five point, 62-57, lead over the Night Hawks.

Thomas responded with a 7-0 run to take the 73-72 advantage with 1:49 remaining on the clock. On the next possession, SEU’s Matt Crowe connected on a three pointer to give SEU a two point lead with 90 seconds left. The Night Hawks tied the game on the next trip down the floor when senior Marcus Humose crossed up a Fire defender and floated a shot into the net.

In the final 12 seconds of the contest, Love slammed down two monstrous dunks that literally shook the building and fired up the home crowd. These baskets were the difference down the stretch that led the Night Hawks to the 79-76 win. This victory is a landmark for the five Night Hawk seniors as it is the first time in four attempts that they have beaten Southeastern.

The Night Hawks shot 33-for-61 (54.1%) from the field, 7-for-13 from behind the arch, and 6-for-12 (50%) from the charity stripe. Southeastern was held to 41 percent shooting in the field and 63.6 percent at the free throw line.

There were three Night Hawks in double figures in the victory. Love led Thomas with 21 points and five rebounds while senior Rodney Sturkie finished with a season high 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Guard Max Grace added 10 points, five rebounds, and three key steals in the winning effort.

Head coach Stephen Cox reflected on the win, “Wow! What a game! Tonight was simply a great home win for our program beating another team that is in the national polls receiving votes. It helps build our resume for the national tournament. These five seniors are unbelievable. They have been through a lot, financially, academically, and athletically. For them to be here at Thomas University at the same time is a near miracle. Right now, I’m just so happy for them and what we have accomplished this year.”

Thomas improves to 17-7, 8-6 in TSC play, while Southeastern (RV) stumbles to 13-10, 7-7 on the year.

The Night Hawks return to action on Thursday, Feb. 12 when they travel to south Florida to face Sun Conference rival Ave Maria University. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m.

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