No. 4 Drury escapes challenge from Wisconsin-Parkside with two-point win
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Mael Amenyedzi's layup off a Lonnie Boga, length-of-the-floor baseball pass with less than two seconds left lifted Drury to a 54-52 victory against No. 16 Wisconsin-Parkside in a Great Lakes Valley Conference thriller between division leaders Thursday night at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
The Panthers improved to 21-1 overall and 13-1 in the GLVC by winning their 22nd consecutive game at The O' -- and one that could go a long ways in determining whether the defending national champions get to host a Midwest Regional there for a second consecutive year.
That Panthers have now won their past 12 games decided by five points or less, including a 9-0 record in those games this season.
Boga, a former star receiver in football in high school at McCluer in St. Louis, morphed back to his days as a quarterback, throwing a perfect strike the length of the floor to the 6-foot-6 Amenyedzi, a native of France, who went up like a tight end and caught it near the left block, spun and laid it off the glass to the delight of the crowd of 2,017 at The O'.
As the DU players and fans celebrated and the clock ran out, game officials huddled to decide how much time to put back on after a Parkside timeout was given. They settled on 1.4 seconds; and a desperation, three-quarters court effort by the Rangers fell harmlessly way, and the Panthers had their 44th victory in their past 45 games, and their 30th in their past 31 outings against teams from the GLVC.
No. 5 West Liberty 106, Shepherd 97
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. -- West Liberty clinched the first Mountain East Conference championship in impressive fashion Thursday night by rolling to a 106-97 win against second-place Shepherd before a jam-packed ASRC.
The hosts' 21st win of the season gave WLU a five-game lead in the loss column against MEC challengers Shepherd, Charleston and West Virginia Wesleyan with just 4 regular season games remaining.
"It's great to win the first MEC championship," head coach Jim Crutchfield said. "That's five straight conference championships for us after taking the last four in the WVIAC [West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference]. I told our guys that was an accomplishment they could take pride in and I'm really happy for them."
After a see-saw opening half, the Hilltoppers (21-1, 17-1) took the lead for good in the first two minutes of the second half and led by as many as 17 points down the stretch before a late run by the Rams (16-7, 11-6) trimmed the final margin under double-digits.
Cedric Harris scored 17 of his game-high 26 points after intermission and West Liberty blistered the cords at a 61.1 percent pace (19-of-31) in the second half as the hosts sent the large crowd home happy.
C.J. Hester just missed a double-double with 20 points and nine rebounds while Shawn Dyer also made a run at a double-double with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Keene Cockburn notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while also flirting with a triple-double with a career-high seven blocked shots.
No. 8 Indianapolis 75, Truman State 73
INDIANAPOLIS -- With the score knotted at 73 apiece, senior Tyrae Robinson knocked down the game-winning layup as time expired to send Indianapolis (20-2, 12-2 GLVC) to a 75-73 victory against visiting Truman State on Thursday night at Nicoson Hall.
Robinson finished with 15 points to tie him with Joe Lawson and Reece Cheatham for the team high.
The Greyhounds led by as many as 12 in the first half before Truman State came back to tie the game in the second.
Indianapolis has now won its past eight games.