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Bisons Lose Heartbreaker In Overtime To ETSU

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jan. 4, 2007

After fighting their way back to tie the game and send it into overtime, the Bisons lost a heartbreaker 75-72 on a last second three point shot.

ETSU freshman point guard Dequan Twilley, who had not hit a shot all night long, launched an NBA three-pointer with .4 seconds left in overtime to give the Bucaneers the victory in overtime.

With the game tied in overtime at 72-72, the Bisons had a chance to take the lead with the 46.7 seconds to go and the ball. The Bisons milked the clock down and then got the ball into senior Brian Fisk's hands. Fisk, who had 18 points on the night, worked around a screen and put up a fifteen-footer that missed, and ETSU came down with the rebound, setting up the game winning heroics from Twilley.

ETSU, played in the second straight overtime game, as they lost to Belmont on Tuesday night in overtime 75-74.

"That was a bitter one to take right there," Head Coach Scott Sanderson said. "But it is like I told our players after the game; that is kind of energy and effort, defending and rebounding that we have to take with us for the rest of the year."

"If we play like that the other night [at Kennesaw State], then it is a runaway. We have got to learn from this game right here and play with that kind of energy and that kind of effort."

The Bisons and Bucaneers battled back-and-forth all night long with neither team taking total control during the game. The largest lead by either team all night long was seven points. The scored was tied 14 times, with the lead changing four different times.

In the first half, the Bisons waded through constant pressure from the Bucaneers and was able to take a 32-31 lead at halftime. Fisk had 13 of his 18 points in the first half with an impressive performance coming off of arguably his worst performance of the year against Kennesaw State.

ETSU did a good job in the first half limiting Eddie Ard to only six first half points. Ard would not be quieted for long as the Junior showed in the second half why he was the preseason pick for Atlantic Sun Player of the Year.

In the first minute of the second half, ETSU took the lead 35-32 with 19:06 to go after four quick points straight out of the gate. The Bisons battled back as they did all night long and took the lead once again 41-39 with 16:57 after a jumper from Fisk.

The Bisons then opened up their largest lead of the game at the 15:05 mark of the second half when LaKory Daniels knocked down a jumper to make it 43-39. ETSU regained the lead 50-49 with 8:25 to go after an Andrew Reed layup. ETSU did not give up the lead for the last eight minutes of the game.

ETSU opened up a six point lead with 1:38 to go in the game, but Eddie Ard who had a huge second half, cut the lead to three with one of his four three-pointers of the game. With 12 seconds remaining in regulation, Trey Williams knocked down a three-pointer from the corner to send the game into overtime.

"We were down six on the road and to battle back and dig our heals in to get the game into overtime, I cannot fault my guys energy and effort," Sanderson said. "We just came up short."

Overtime went back-and-forth just like regulation with ETSU getting the final look and the win off a clutch three-pointer by Twilley.

Ard led the Bisons in scoring with 24 points, with 16 of his points coming in the second half. Ard went 6-11 from the field, 4-5 from behind the three-point line, and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line.

Despite the disappointing loss, the Bisons did show some good improvement rebounding the basketball. The Bisons outrebounding the bigger ETSU team 37-32, with 14 of the 32 rebounds coming on the offensive end of the court.

"You have to give our guys credit," Sanderson said. "They made some big shots, some big rebounds, some big free throws, it just wasn't enough to get the win."

The Bisons did turn the ball over 18 times which led to 21 ETSU points. In both losses against Kennesaw State and ETSU, the Bisons turned the ball over for a combined 34 times, leading to 35 points off the turnovers.

"That was the one thing that I did not like," Sanderson said. "On this road trip we had 35 turnovers, we had 18 of the 35 turnovers tonight, and those 18 turnovers led to 21 points and we worked on it religiously for two days, knowing it was coming, and we still turned the ball over."

ETSU placed three players in double figures, with freshman Mike Smith leading the way with 17 points off the bench. Courtney Pigram added 15 points, and Andrew Reed posted 13 points.

The Bisons will look to end a three game losing streak on Sunday when they return to the comfortable confines of Allen Arena to take on conference foe Stetson, with the game slated for 1:00 CST.

"It is very critical how we bounce back, because this loss right here is a hard one to take," Sanderson said. "We have to bounce back, because we are staring Stetson in the face on Sunday afternoon, and that is always a hard fought game."