Tuskegee, Ala., — In an exciting battle that saw three lead changes and a nail biting second half, the Magicians of LeMoyne-Owen College brought their ‘A’ game to Tuskegee.
In a low scoring first half for both teams, the Magicians found their rhythm and got out in transition as Serbian native, Filip Vukmirovic knocked down back-to-back triples to cut Tuskegee’s lead to two. However, TU’s James Eads had an answer pouring in 10 points in the half to give the Tigers a 24-18 advantage. With 3:35 to go before the break, LOC seized control of the game, first taking advantage of a missmatch on the block, as Jaequan Brown drew the AND1, and then again, after a put back bucket by Brown who was there on a missed free-throw by Reshun Ellis, who had a chance for a 4-point play.
Up 28-25 to start the second half, the Magicians used their momentum to extend their margin, but the Tigers refused to give in as Eads made a play putting Tuskegee up, 43-38 with 8:56 remaining. Locking in on defense, LeMoyne-Owen forced a 10-sec. violation on the Tigers, one of nine turnovers in which the Magicians scored 16-points off those mistakes.
Both teams in the bonus, the final seconds would be crucial. TU leading 62-55, with 30.5 on the clock, LOC’s Brown, sank not one…not two…,but three free-throws after a foul to give the Magicians a chance. The Tigers still ahead and desperate for a win, left the door wide open for LOC, first giving up a layup to Aston Morton with the AND1, then turning it over on the inbounds play twice. Down 65-62, the Magicians would have time to get off one last shot to force overtime, but would miss the mark.
James Eads led Tuskegee with a game-high 24 points, with Travis Flagg pitching in a 15-point outing and a game-high four assist.
Jaequan Brown paced LOC scorers with 20 points, as Ellis, Morton, and Vukmirovic finished with 13, 10, and nine points, respectively. Demba Konate led the rebounding effort with nine boards as LOC outrebounded the Tigers 35-27.
LeMoyne-Owen moves to 6-11, and 2-9 in league play when they visit Miles College (4-12, 3-6 SIAC) in Fairfield, AL, on Monday, Jan. 22 for another SIAC doubleheader. Tip-off is at 7:30 pm, immediately follwing the women’s game.