CHATTANOOGA—The Cleveland State Cougars invaded Tiger territory on Saturday afternoon and somehow, someway came out with an amazing overtime victory over Chattanooga State by a final count of 93-85.
The Lady Cougars weren't as fortunate as they fell to the hot-shooting Lady Tigers by a final score of 77-62.
Robert Brandon poured in seven straight points including a long three-pointer as the Cougars opened the men's contest with a 13-7 advantage.
The Tigers then mounted a rally and eventually tied the low scoring first half and took the lead with just over seven minutes to go in the half, 16-15 on a bucket by Chaunce Watkins.
The lead changed hands six times the rest of the half as Keevin Tyus kept the Cougars in the running with seven tough points in the paint, but Brandon Strickland nailed a long three-pointer at the buzzer to put the Tigers on top, 33-32 at the break.
The teams traded buckets and the lead seven times to begin the second half. The Tigers then used an 11-3 run to open up their largest lead of the afternoon at 53-43.
A three-point play by Travis Wildgoose seemed to turn the tide in the Cougars direction midway through the half and a pair of three-point bombs from Simon Clifford and another by Jackie Hale helped to erase the lead and put the visitors back on top in the seesaw affair, 64-62 at the seven minute mark.
Six straight points in the paint from Joshu'a Warren put the Tigers back on top, but another shot from downtown by Hale cut the lead back to a single bucket at the 2:26 mark, 74-72.
Back to back layups from Tyus and Wildgoose completed the comeback and put the Cougars on top once again, 76-74 and a clutch baseline jumper with 19 ticks left by Stetson Moore put the visitors on top again, 78-76.
The Tigers took advantage of their last possession as Ronald Jones drove the lane and put up the tying layup with only three seconds to go, to force an overtime period.
In the extra stanza, Tyus hit a short jumper while Hale and Moore hit a big 3-pointer each as the Cougars opened up an 89-83 lead. Another short jumper from Moore sealed the deal for Cleveland State as they finished strong to take the huge Region VII Conference win.
Tyus paced the Cougars (11-9, 6-8) with 24 points, Brandon finished with 17, Wildgoose added 16 points, Hale had 14 and Clifford finished with 10. Orlandis Jackson led the Tigers (10-10, 4-8) with 16 points, Billy Hughes added 15 and Jones had 12.
"It was a great game, and a total team effort, our starters and especially our bench, they all contributed to the win," stated an exhausted Cougar coach Lee Cigliano. "It's tough to get a win down here or anywhere against Chattanooga State, there were so many big plays and each time someone different stepped up and hit the big shot."
LADY TIGERS 77
LADY COUGARS 62
Jara Gasper hit a three-pointer to get the Lady Cougars off on the right foot as they would take an early 9-8 lead.
But, the quickness advantage of the Lady Tigers took over from there as the home team hit their guests with a 14-2 run as Amber Howard nailed a pair of long range shots for a 20-12 lead.
Cleveland State responded with a 9-0 run of their own to briefly take a 21-20 lead, but the Lady Tigers finished the half with an 18-6 run as they would hold a 38-27 lead at halftime.
The Lady Tigers shot well over 50 percent for the first 20 minutes while causing 12 Lady Cougar turnovers.
The Lady Tigers opened the second half with an 18-4 run and never looked back. LaKendria Williams hit a pair of 3's and Amber Howard added 16 points in the half as the home team cruised to the big conference win.
Howard led all scorers for the Lady Tigers (12-11, 8-6) with 24 points, Williams finished with 14, Tariana Carter added 12 and Cierra Gordon had 10 points. Gasper paced the Lady Cougars (16-6, 8-6) with 20 points while Jamesha Mosely added 16.
Cleveland State will travel to Harriman on Wednesday for a pair of games with Roane State