Tuckerman knocks off Mustangs in NEA overtime thriller

Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Mustang senior Cory Turner shoots for two points while being surrounded by a host of Bulldogs in the first round of the NEA Tournament. Tuckerman defeated BIC 53-50 in overtime.

Bo Roberson and Chaylun Dennis combined to hit four free throws in the final 36 seconds of overtime, lifting Tuckerman to a stirring 53-50 victory over Buffalo Island Central Monday night in the first round of the 70th annual Northeast Arkansas Basketball Tournament at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

After Roberson sank both ends of a double bonus, the Mustangs' Blaine Wildy scored on an inside bucket with 12 seconds remaining to slice the Bulldog lead to 51-50. BIC immediately fouled Dennis on the inbound, but the junior guard calmly dropped in both foul shots to put the Bulldogs up three. A last second Andrew McFarlin three pointer missed the mark, allowing Tuckerman to move on to the quarterfinals.

BIC owned a 16-12 advantage after the first quarter, with McFarlin scoring the last two baskets of the period to put the Mustangs on top. BIC increased its lead to 22-12, scoring the first six points of the second quarter. Trey DePriest's steal and lay-in highlighted the Mustang scoring surge. But the Bulldogs put together a 10-0 run, capped off by a Dennis layup, to take the lead, 24-22, seconds before intermission. McFarlin knotted the game with a seven-foot bank shot as the two teams headed to the dressing room tied at 24-all.

BIC's Trey DePriest signals for a timeout while Tuckerman's Bo Roberson reaches for the ball. Looking on is Mustang teammate Canon Walling (12). (Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)

BIC scored the first five points of the second quarter when Cory Turner and Myles Gifford connected on back to back buckets, followed by a DePriest free throw. Tuckerman's Zane Smith nailed a long three pointer and followed with a 10-foot pull-up jumper as the third stanza ended with the Bulldogs trailing, 40-38.

Tuckerman fought back at the free throw line in the final frame, taking a 44-42 lead on a pair of charity tosses by Jacob Hockaday with 2:25 left in regulation. But a Canon Walling triple gave BIC a one point edge at the 2:14 mark, and after a Tuckerman turnover, McFarlin made a nice spin move to give the Mustangs a 47-44 lead with 45 ticks left on the clock.

Dennis drew a foul with 28 seconds left and sank both free throws to cut the BIC lead to a single point. Tuckerman fouled McFarlin, who went to the line to shoot a one and one. The junior point guard drained the first attempt but missed the bonus, leaving BIC up 48-46 with 16 seconds to go. Dennis drew yet another BIC foul and banged home both free throws with nine seconds left to draw the Bulldogs even. Tuckerman survived a last second BIC shot, sending the game into overtime.

Roberson led the Bulldogs with a game high 18 points while Dennis finished with 14. Smith and Hockaday added 10 points apiece. The Bulldogs hit 17-21 foul shots and canned four three pointers.

BIC got 10 points apiece from DePriest and McFarlin. Walling and Gifford both tallied nine, Turner had seven, Carmichael scored three while Wildy added two points. BIC hit just 9-17 free throws and drilled five treys.

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