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JUCO BASKETBALL: Seahawks’ tip at buzzer wins it

Lamar State College Port Arthur dug out of a big hole once, so the next best thing was to break a tie right at the end.

Nathan Bailey tipped in a missed jump shot off an inbound pass as time expired, and what was once a 12-point deficit for Lamar State ended up a 94-92 victory over Coastal Bend College on Wednesday night at the Carl Parker Center.

“That’s something we always talk about on the final shot, crash the glass,” Lamar State coach Lance Madison told CooperSports.net after the game. “A lot of teams forget to block out.”

Bailey, who had team highs of 17 points and eight rebounds, did not forget.

The Seahawks (18-11, 8-8 in Region XIV South Zone), who snapped a two-game slide that proved costly in South Zone standings, led 88-81 with 2:08 left. Peyton Hardin of Coastal Bend cut it to 88-83 with a layup, and then, following a technical foul against Darion Chatman, Royce Hunter and Hardin combined to make 4 of 4 free throws.

Alex Williams finished a three-point play to extend the lead back to 91-87 with 54 seconds to go, only for Brian Payton to respond with a trey. Williams went back to the line and made the first of two shots, but Hardin tipped in a Hunter miss with 6 seconds remaining to even the score at 92.

A scramble for the ball led to a Seahawks timeout to set up the winning play. Jamyus Jones missed a shot from the baseline off the inbound pass, but Bailey tipped it in just before the buzzer sounded.

Devaughn Thomas had 15 points, Chatman 14, Williams 12 and Colin Just 11 for Lamar State. Hunter led the Cougars (8-15, 4-12) with 24 points, followed by Payton’s 13 and Charles Callier’s 13.

Hardin neared a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds. He also had three assists.

Lamar State shot 54.4 percent from the floor (31 of 57), including 7 of 17 from three-point range, and made 71.4 percent of its free throws (25 of 35). Chatman had six assists.

Coastal Bend connected on 44.1 percent from the field (30 of 68), but made 55.6 percent of its three-point baskets (15 of 27) and 73.9 percent of free throws (17 of 23).

This was the second meeting in eight days between the two teams. Coastal Bend won 109-97 in Beeville last Wednesday.

The Seahawks will close the regular season at home against Jacksonville College with a 2 p.m. tipoff Saturday.  Jacksonville (20-8 10-5) has sewn up the South Zone championship, but a win will secure second place in the conference for the Seahawks.

— I.C. Murrell

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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