Wow - what an insane final day of the tourney. 3 Overtime games!
Erksine 78 Incarnate Word 68 - Erksine's horrible season start (1-8) is atypical of the team's history and talent level - and fillthelane's team came to life against Incarnate Word. Pauls, IW's point guard, had a dissapointing game, fouling out in 20 minutes and not being successful as a defensive stopper. It was a game of runs. Erksine's 20-5 run at the end of the 1st half made a huge difference in the game, giving them a 14 point lead, and then Incarnate Word came back to tie the game at 60 - only to blow it at the end. Big games for Jones and Doering, who combined for 40 of Erksine's 78 points.
Coker 83, St. Marys 76, OT - Coker shocked St.Edwards at the start, and with 5 minutes left in the first half, Coker had a 31-20 lead - and held on for a 37-31 halftime lead. St. Mary's was definitely the favorite here, though Coker was showing great energy at home. However, St. Mary's has Lonnie Cook, possibly the best player in DII, and he helped St. Mary's gradually come back. However, with 4 minutes left, and Coker clinging to a 1 point lead, Cook fouled out, swinging momentum in Coker's favor.
This game was a contrast in styles, as Coker's Wang-Wadzinski combo dominated in the backcourt throughout the game, and St. Mary's frontcourt was equally dominant. Wadzinki hit a big 3 for Coker to help them take a 3 point lead in regulation with 50 seconds left, and then St. Mary's Matthew Gould, who had a horrible game otherwise, hit a big 3-pointer to tie it up and send the game into overtime.
Wadzinki and Wang took over the OT completely, dominating in the backcourt and leading Coker to a huge win in the tourney, and leading the CVAC to a 6-4 tourney lead.
N. Alabama 95, Mt. Olive 93 (2 ot) probably the game of the tourney. This game was nip and tuck throughout the entire matchup.
Mt. Olive's Walter Strong hit a huge shot with 4 seconds left to send the game into OT. In the 1st OT, Mt. Olive's Justin Almonte had two free throws with Mt. Olive down by 1 and with 20 seconds left. Almonte only made one of two, dying it up, but a huge block by Justin Hallam of a potential game winning hook shot by N. Alabama big man Albert Leos sent the game to a second OT.
In the 2nd OT, things looked bleak for Mt. Olive as they were down 93-87 with under 2 minutes left. However, Angel Roman hit a huge 3, and then 2 big free throws to tighten the game at 93-92. With 28 seconds left, Angel Roman is hacked for no intelligent reason by N. Alabama's James Lucey, but Roman only made the first of the two foul shots to tie the game at 93 - however, Justin Almonte made a huge offensive rebound and Mt.Olive set up for the game-winning shot. There was no game winning shot, though, as N. Alabama point guard Monty Wooten intercepted a terrible Jjerome Hallem pass in the waning seconds, and then took off for an unopposed game winning fast-break layup with one seconds left. Hallem had no comment on potentially blowing the challenge for the CVAC, refusing to talk to the media and pitching quite a fit after the loss.
Longwood 66, St. Edwards 60 (OT) - Offensely challenged Longwood put up only 17 points in the opening half, being down 7 to an upstart St. Edwards team. Despite Mike Moler tearing Longwood up on the interior throughout the night, Longwood played their super-ugly brand of basketball, slowly coming back with decent games by James Thurber and Jason Carson, and playing shut-down 2nd half defense. Longwood and St. Edwards basically pummeled each other, and with Moler's strong play, St. Ed's clung to a 48-45 lead with 40 seconds left. Then out of nowhere, Billy Gardner, the young Longwood starting point guard averaging 3 points a game, buried a huge 3 with 9 seconds left to send the game to overtime, keeping an outright CVAC victory possible. Longwood pulled away in OT thanks to another few big shots from Gardner, and turned the end of OT into a free-throw shooting contest.
CVAC retains their dominance, winning the tourney 7 to 5. Definitely the most dramatic final night of the tourney in CVAC-Heartland Tourney history.