PASADENA – Trailing by as many as 13 points early in its game against San Jacinto College on Saturday, Lamar State College-Port Arthur fought its way into a position to win.
With one second left on the clock, Seahawks sophomore Tre Bennett launched a 3-pointer but it would not fall as LSC-PA walked away from Anders Gymnasium in Pasadena with a 95-93 loss to the Ravens. The loss drops the Hawks to 15-4 overall and 5-3 in Region XIV play while San Jacinto improves to 14-4 and 6-2.
The Seahawks managed to extract themselves from a seemingly impossible deficit by using its patented transition game to score baskets, draw fouls and hit free throws to put points on the board. And with seconds left in the game, and the Seahawks intentionally fouling to stop the clock, the Ravens struggled to make their free throws. That gave LSC-PA the opportunity they needed to pull to within a basket at 95-93.
Bennett drove the left side of the court with seconds left, pulled up for the win from just outside the 3-point line, but the shot was tipped in what could easily have been called a foul as the defender came down on the Houston sophomore as the buzzer sounded. The refs ran from the floor and the Seahawks were left with their 2-point disappointment.
"You live by the 3 and you die by the 3," Seahawks Head Coach Lance Madison said. "Tre had the momentum and he felt good about going down and taking that shot. I thought he got fouled but they're not going to make that call that late in the game."
The Hawks struggled from the field early on, trailing in the first half by more than a dozen points as the Ravens converted missed Seahawks shots into points on the opposite end of the court. Freshman JoJo Mooring and sophomore Evan White helped keep the Seahawks in the game in the first half, knocking down 3-pointers, drawing fouls and hitting free throws. The Seahawks managed to crawl out of a hole, trailing by just five at the half 43-38.
"You have to go on the road and play with confidence," Madison said. "We should have played with more experience out there but we got rattled. We were tight in the first half. We got back in it but we missed some key free throws."
The Hawks battled back on the shooting of Jamal Shabazz in the second half as the Austin sophomore pulled up for a huge 3-pointer to cut the Ravens' lead to 93-90 with 18 seconds left. After a San Jac free throw, San Antonio sophomore Evan White knocked down a 3 to pull the Hawks to within one at 94-93. Another free throw by the Ravens provided the final margin in the game.
White, Shabazz and Mooring each scored 17 points for the Seahawks while Bennett hit for 16. Anthony Allen scored 8 points and added seven rebounds and seven blocked shots. Ivan Jelencic, who had several critical baskets midway through the second half, finished with 12 points.