Men's Basketball

Transy men stopped in OT

DANVILLE — After Transylvania's Joey Verax forced overtime with two free throws with no time on the clock, Guilford won the overtime, and game, at the free-throw line.

The Quakers made 11 of 15 free throws in the extra period for a 71-67 victory over the Pioneers in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament.

Guilford will play Averett, which upset host Centre, in the second round at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The play started with seven-tenths of a second left. Verax was fouled on a long inbounds pass at the buzzer.

Verax stood on the line during the timeout before making both shots in the bonus situation.

Guilford (22-5) took the lead in OT on a three-point play by Rhett Bonner.

Transy's Matthew Parton tied the score with a three-pointer at 3:50.

Verax made two free throws to give the Pioneers a 64-63 lead at 3:02.

The free throws gave the Quakers the cushion to hold off Transylvania, which was 2-for-7 from the field, 1-for-6 behind the arc, in OT.

"If Joey misses, his career is over," Transylvania Coach Brian Lane said. "You can't take any more pressure-packed shots.

"I thought we'd take that momentum into overtime, but they got the tip and scored right away. We weren't able to come back."

Bonner did the damage to the Pioneers with nine of his 22 points in OT.

"We shouldn't have fouled on that last play," Bonner said. "We were switching screens and got caught up in a little contact.

"The whole game we wanted to go low, but they packed it in. We were able to hit the shots and get it done in overtime."

While Transylvania was launching 40 three-pointers (making 14), Guilford took advantage of Tyler Sanborn's short left-handed hooks that he banked in for 19 points. (He also had 15 rebounds.)

Transylvania was unable to drive the ball inside much and relied on its long-range game.

"We shot lights out all week (in practice)," Lane said.

Verax, the Heartland Conference Player of the Year, finished with 26 points, including 6-for-13 beyond the arc. Tim Tierney scored 11 for the Pioneers.

Averett 76, Centre 71: The host Colonels rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half but fell short.

Behind Danny Noll's three-point shooting and scoring (17 points) and T.C. Thomason's scoring (17), Centre took a 65-64 lead with 2:29 to play. Thomason's driving layup put the Colonels on top for the only time.

The game soon turned in his team's favor, Averett Coach Jimmy Allen said.

Damien Brown tied the score with his first free throw but missed the second. The Cougars rebounded, and Kenny Hart nailed a three-pointer at 1:58 for a 68-65 lead the Cougars never lost.

Averett made seven of eight free throws at the end.

"Their first half was as good as we've faced (in three years)," Centre Coach Greg Mason said. "The second half was as exciting as this gymnasium has seen in a long, long time."

The underdog Cougars went right at the 15th-ranked Colonels from the opening tip.

The Cougars swarmed the home team defensively, flooded the passing lanes, took advantage of Centre misfires and worked the ball for open shots.

"Our players responded from the get-go and got confidence," Allen said. "Centre settled down, they executed and we were fortunate to hang on."

"They jumped on us," Centre's Ryan Crowdis said. "Their pressure was relentless."

A 9-0 run shot the Cougars to a 14-3 lead, and the Colonels went more than six minutes without a point.

Averett eventually led 29-12 with five minutes left. The halftime score was 35-22.

Centre shot 27.3 percent and was 3-for-15 beyond the arc. Averett shot 56 percent from the field.

Jonathan Rumley led the winners with 20 points. Brown had 15 points and eight rebounds.

Thomason finished with 21 points and Noll had 20.

Centre (21-5) doubled its shooting percentage in the second half, but the Colonels finished with 25 percent behind the arc.

Capital 80, Thomas More 77: Sophomore Daniel McKeehan scored 22 points, but it wasn't enough as the Saints fell to the 13th-ranked hosts in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at Columbus, Ohio.

The Saints had a chance at the buzzer, but senior guard Romell Salone's three-pointer was off the mark.

Salone was the only other player in double figures for Thomas More with 13 points.

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