Bic outguns Brookland 98-97 in NEA Tournament

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In one of the wildest shootouts in the history of the Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament, Buffalo Island Central finally escaped with a heart pounding 98-97 victory over Brookland Tuesday morning at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

BIC's James Tate pulls down one of his 20 rebounds in NEA action against Brookland. (Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)

The game came down to one last possession, with BIC leading by a point, but Bearcat Adam Hoffman's jumper at the buzzer banged off the rim, allowing the Mustangs to hang on to claim one of the more exciting contests in recent tournament history.

BIC held an 86-77 lead at the 2:50 mark of the final period, but watched Brookland battle back to close the gap to 93-91, thanks to back to back three pointers by junior Jared Smith with 1:06 left in the game. Forced to foul, Brookland sent BIC to the free throw line, where the Mustangs connected on six of eight foul shots to take a three point lead,

97-94, with 27 seconds remaining.

Brookland's Spencer Elder ripped a three pointer from the top of the key to tie the score 97-97 with 18 seconds to play. The Bearcats fouled Daniel Davis at the ten second mark. The sophomore sank the first free throw, giving BIC a 98-97 lead, but missed the second attempt, allowing Brookland one last chance for the victory, but Hoffman's shot missed the mark, giving BIC the win.

BIC dominated the first half behind the strong play of James Tate and Daniel Davis. Tate finished the night with 24 points and a whopping 20 rebounds, while Davis scored a game high 27 points, 16 in the first half. The Mustangs led by as many as 13 points in the opening half before taking a 46-35 advantage into the dressing room.

Brookland began the third quarter in a full court press, forcing the Mustangs into numerous turnovers as the Bearcats rallied to take their first lead of the game, 52-51, on a driving lay-up by Grahm Agee with 4:34 left in the period.

BIC finally started to solve the Brookland defensive pressure, and reclaimed the lead,

68-62, heading into the final frame.

Ben Cole scored 12 points while Brandon Atkeison and Heath Hawkins also finished in double figures for BIC, scoring 10 points apiece. Brent Ray tallied nine, Adrian Mondragon netted four while Drey Crabtree added two points. The Mustangs went to the free throw line 55 times, connecting on 39.

BIC took on third seeded Bay in the second round, but dropped a 63-31 decision as the Yellowjackets placed 11 different players in the scoring column. Bay held leads of 17-6 after the first period and 36-16 at the half. The Yellowjackets took a 49-26 advantage into the final quarter.

Ryan Ragen led Bay with 12 points while Daniel Davis topped BIC with seven points.

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