Bears pull off overtime win over Baton Rouge

Published 3:11 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2021

If Monday night’s opener at Baton Rouge is an indication of how the rest of the season is going to be for the Bears’ Men’s Basketball program, then it is going to be an exciting one.
SMCC erased a seven-point second half deficit, battling back to force overtime before pulling out a 77-76 win over Baton Rouge.
“It was overall a good team effort from start to finish,” SMCC head coach Bryan Bender said.
“The beginning of the game and throughout the game we didn’t play very well offensively.
We missed a lot of easy layups and we did not convert very well from the free throw line.
But we were able to turn a corner in the second half.
When you have veteran players, they make plays and that is what we did down the stretch.”
SMCC (1-0) had nine of 12 players score in the contest, boasting a balanced attack.
The visitors were led by Edward Lacey who had 12 points including a 3-pointer just over four minutes into the game, breaking a scoreless streak for SMCC which showed a few struggles early on.
However from there, the offense began to pick things up as Zae Blake, Demarcus Ellzey and Jamil Bowles all connected on shots from long range.
Bowles knocked down a pair of 3’s to lead the scoring attack in the first half.
The visitors also found success inside with post players Tim McElroy and Nate Hudson getting points in the paint.
Even though the Bears began to find their footing on offense, the defense had difficulty slowing down Baton Rouge.
Reginald Gause led the way for the hosts with 13 of his team-high 19 in the 20 minutes of play.
SMCC trailed 34-33 at the half.
Both teams continued to battle in the second half in a back-and-forth contest.
Down by three with only seconds to go in regulation, Ellzey grabbed possession of the ball and maneuvered between two defenders before putting in the game-tying 3-pointer, forcing overtime.
In overtime, Javius Moore took over scoring nine of his 11 points in the period alone in addition to notching his 12 rebound of the game.
SMCC held off a late rally attempt by BRCC to preserve the win on the road.
“It is always good to be on the right side of wins and learn from wins and not from losses,” Bender said. “We won a lot of close games last year and we lost a lot of them. We faced adversity, we were down seven and we could have easily tapped out but we kept competing and we played until the end and we just made plays.”
SMCC returns to Summit to face Faith Prep Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the home opener.