After trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half the Flames battled back to send the contest into overtime on a 3-pointer by junior Chase Dunn with just five seconds remaining in regulation. Lee used an 8-1 run to begin the overtime period and clutch foul shots down the stretch to escape with the two-point victory.
Coach Tommy Brown discussed the game-tying basket at the end of regulation, “We tried running that play several times in the game, but fortunately we ran it right at the end. Pat (Shaughnessy) set a great screen, Duran (Blue) made the right read and Chase (Dunn) is the guy you want shooting that shot with the game on the line.”
The victory moves the No. 2 ranked Lee Flames to 20-1 on the year. With the loss the Lions fall to 9-14.
Lee jumped out to an early advantage in the contest but struggled with the Lions’ zone defense allowing FHU to go on a 15-0 run to close out the first half of play with a four-point advantage.
“We saw a lot of zone for the first time this year and offensively we were really passive. They are always very well prepared and tough as nails,” noted Brown. “We knew they weren’t going to back down.”
Jamorris Gaines led the way for the Flames with 25 points and eight rebounds before fouling out in overtime. Will Barnes added 17 points and six rebounds. Dunn tallied 10 markers, going a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in the extra period.
“Jamorris is a talented fellow. He’s got a different level and gear he can go to on the court that most players can’t.” added Brown.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball. Lee went 23-of-63 (36 percent) from the field and hit 6-of-22 (27 percent) from the 3-point line. FHU shot 34 percent (20-of-59) from the field, going 7-of-19 from behind the arc, good for 37 percent. The Lions won the battle of the glass, outrebounding the Flames 41-35.
Lee’s defensive pressure forced Freed-Hardeman into 20 floor mistakes. The Flames were guilty of just nine turnovers compared with 10 assists.
“Keymon (Woods) used his athleticism for us in the second half to force some turnovers” said Brown. “Our pressure was huge in getting us back in the game.”
Ben Meis led the way for the Lions, finishing with 22 points in hitting 6-of-10 from behind the arc. Reginald Gilmore added 19 markers and seven rebounds for the host club.
The Flames will have a few days off after the tough battle with Freed-Hardeman. Lee will be back in action Saturday evening at Walker Arena when Carver Baptist College comes calling. Tip time is set for 7 p.m.