Cougar News
Men's Basketball - Thu, Feb. 21, 2013
MAYFIELD, Ky. - As good as things have gone for the Mid-Continent University men's basketball team at times this season, there have been other times where things just have not gone Mid-Continent's way, and on Thursday night, the Cougars tasted the latter in a very painful way.
Mid-Continent (16-12, 4-5) held the lead over Life University (16-12, 6-3) with just 1:18 left to play in the game, but the Running Eagles scored the last five points of the game, as Mid-Continent watched a chance to clinch the third seed in the upcoming TranSouth basketball tournament slip through their fingers in a heartbreaking 87-83 loss in their regular season home finale.
Life shot out of the gate early, scoring the game's first five points, but Mid-Continent battled back to tie the score at 9, then took an 11-9 lead on a basket from Charles Peden at the 15 minute mark. Life would respond, however, and the Running Eagles used a stifling defense that created 16 Mid-Continent turnovers in the first half to build a 41-35 halftime advantage over the Cougars. Mid-Continent scored the first points of the second half to pull to within four, but Life regained their composure and methodically stretched their lead to as many as 13 points.
With his team trailing by 13 and in need of a spark, senior Antonio Davis recorded a traditional 3-point play with 13:03 left in the game to pull the Cougars within 10 at 60-50. The play ignited a 15-2 Mid-Continent surge that saw the deficit erased as Lee Ames knotted the score at 62 with 9:30 remaining. Life quickly pulled ahead by seven again, but the Cougars again responded. This time, it was a 9-0 blitz from Mid-Continent that saw the Cougars climb out of a five point hole and claim a 75-71 advantage with 3:54 to play. Mid-Continent held the lead for the next several trips down the floor, but the Cougars were unable to get any separation from the Runing Eagles, as Life hung around. With 2:13 on the clock, Bobby Smith of Life tied the score at 80, and 33 seconds later, Greg Thomas knotted things again, this time at 82. Davis was fouled with 1:18 on the clock, and he made one of two free throws to put Mid-Continent ahead 83-82, but that would be the last tally of the game for the Cougars. Smith put Life back on top with 1:09 to go, and that would prove to be enough. Mid-Continent had a pair of chances to knot the score, but attempts from both Davis and Lee Ames went begging, and Life sealed the game with free throws, taking the win 87-83.
All five Mid-Continent starters scored in double figures, led by Davis's 21-point effort. Ames accounted for 16 points in the game, with Peden and Reggie Elkins each notching 15, and Gavin Scott pouring in 14. Davis had an outstanding night on both ends of the floor, grabbing six rebounds, picking up a pair of steals, and dishing out seven assists in the game as well. Mid-Continent made 32-of-65 (49.2%) shots in the contest, but just 3-of-15 (20%) from long distance. Mid-Continent also connected on 16-of-22 (72.7%) free throws.
The loss guarantees Mid-Continent a first round date with the Freed-Hardeman Lions in the TranSouth men's basketball tournament. The game will be played on February 28 at 7 p.m., though the location is not yet determined. A win by Mid-Continent over NAIA #15 Bethel University (24-5, 6-3) , or a Freed-Hardeman (12-17, 3-6) loss at Life would mean the Cougars would earn the #4 seed and the home game in the first round of the TranSouth Tournament. A Mid-Continent loss, coupled with a Freed-Hardeman win, however, would leave the two teams deadlocked, and because of TranSouth tiebreaking procedures a coin flip would be needed to determine the home team in the game.
Mid-Continent's season finale with Bethel (Tenn.) will take place in McKenzie, Tenn. on Saturday at 4 p.m.