Dec 19, 2012
Carrollton, Ga. — Saint Augustine’s University capped their four-game road trip in thrilling fashion on Tuesday, Dec. 18. 2012. The Falcons held off the University of West Georgia 66-63 in double overtime at The Coliseum on West Georgia’s campus in a non-conference men’s college basketball game.
“Anytime you get a road win, it’s special, especially this far from home.” St. Aug Head Coach Lonnie Blow, Jr. said.
The Falcons last played in double overtime on Feb. 26, 2011. They lost at Shaw University 85-84 in a game so exciting that both teams received an ovation from the fans at Spaulding Gymnasium.
This time, the Falcons (7-3 overall) came out on top in a double overtime contest. The victory completed a successful ten-day road swing through Florida and Georgia. The Falcons were 3-1 on the trip including two straight victories with each win going down to the wire. The average margin of victory was three points.
“It is always good that you can play on the road and win,” Blow said. “It helps you in the long run to get used to the pressures of a road game. I thought we did a good job.”
On Tuesday, the Falcons handled themselves under duress. They connected on 16 of 18 free throw attempts for 89 percent which ultimately decided the outcome. Guard Joel Kindred (Sr./Raleigh, N.C.), who finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, canned two free throws with 12 seconds left for the final margin.
“Free throws were big down the stretch,” Blow said.
The Falcons stepped up defensively on the last play, forcing a tough three-pointer which fell short of the rim for the victory. West Georgia (4-5) rebounded the miss but the buzzer sounded on the putback attempt. Credit guard Jordan Baber (So./Washington, D.C.) of the Falcons for the miss. His outstretched arms were difficult for West Georgia’s Quincy Hill (16 points) to shoot over.
“The plan was to guard the three-point line and contest any shot they took,” Blow said. “We did a good job of communicating and making it tough for them on the last possession.”
Guard Percy Woods (Sr./Washington, D.C.), the CIAA player and newcomer of the week, added 12 points and 6-8, 340-pound center Jonathan Crawley (So./Richmond, Va.) scored 10 points. They came off the bench to spark the Falcons to a 32-11 edge in bench points.
Starting forward Chris Johnson (R-Jr./Hampton, Va.) pulled down 14 rebounds which was huge considering both teams shot under 40 percent. He also added three steals and six points on 3-for-5 shooting.
“Chris set the tone on the boards,” Blow said. “He was a major force. Joel had a double-double, and both Woods and Crawley were solid. This was the most minutes [Crawley] has played this season and he did a nice job.”
It appeared the Falcons would win in a cakewalk early on. They jumped out to a 10-2 lead which grew to 14 points in the first half. The Wolves eventually chipped away at their deficit despite shooting 28 percent (19-69) from the floor and 56 percent (18-for-32) from the free-throw line. They were also 7-for-32 in three-point attempts for 22 percent.
Kindred of the Falcons made two free throws with over two minutes left in regulation to send the game into overtime. The Falcons had a chance to win in regulation, but Woods’ jumper near the top of the key hit the back iron.
Hill of West Georgia hit two free throws with three seconds left in the first overtime to tie the game at 56. Nick Chamblee (Sr./Hampton, Va.), who had a game-high six assists, shot a three-pointer which was off target, forcing a second overtime.
West Georgia began the second extra session with a three-pointer, but the Falcons took the lead for good at 63-62 on Chamblee’s three-pointer at the 1:30 mark. The Falcons held on for the win behind Kindred’s free throws and tight defense on West Georgia’s final possession.
“This was a good win for us,” Blow said. “To win on the road is always hard. I don’t care who you play.”
The Falcons are finished with their non-conference schedule, but will play in opposing gymnasiums three more times before returning to the friendly confines of Emery Gymnasium on campus. After a 14-day holiday break, the Falcons open the CIAA portion of their slate at Virginia State University on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. It will be the fourth of seven consecutive road games.
Based on their performances the last several days, the Falcons are prepared for CIAA battle.
“Hopefully, they take what they learned in non-conference games into conference play,” Blow said.