Posted: Tuesday, December 17th 2013 at 9:31pm
Despite 57 combined from Honors II and Edwards, Lions fall to Transylvania in shootout
By staff reports
LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY -- The Piedmont College basketball team had a chance late in Tuesday night's 98-94 loss to Transylvania University but went cold from the field at the wrong time unable to cut into a five point margin with just over a minute to play.
The contest was the first for each at the prestigious Don Lane Classic hosted by Transylvania, who is coming off back-to-back appearances in the NCAA National Tournament and had to hold off the roaring Lions late to secure a win on their home floor.
Piedmont started the night on a 4-0 run capped by an Alton Honors II dunk after he blocked a shot on the first offensive possession by Transylvania. PC continued to hold the lead though that status would change hands often in a back-and-forth first half especially in the early going.
After allowing Transylvania to pull in front for the first time in the opening minutes in on a three-point bucket, Piedmont's Brian Edwards answered with a tri-fecta of his own just seconds later to put the Lions back up on top 10-9. Veteran Alton Honors II made it back-to-back three's for the visiting Lions after a stop on the defensive end connecting on his try from deep to make it a four-point lead with just over 16 minutes to play forcing an early timeout by the home team.
Piedmont pushed its next lead to four at the midway point of the half when Austin Thompson connected on a three-point bucket as PC knocked down five of their first seven tries from behind the arc on the night. A bucket by the home team cut the lead to two, but Honors II once again responded with a three-point play the old fashioned way to keep his team in front on the road with 9:48 to go in the first half.
With eight minutes to play before halftime, Piedmont led 32-31 in a game where each team was shooting above 60% from the field including Piedmont who was hitting on better than 62% of their downtown tries. However, two Piedmont misses from three-point land split by a Lion turnover led to six straight points by the home team and a five-point lead for Transylvania with 6:27 to play.
Though Transylvania looked poised to pull away, Piedmont continued to keep it close over the final minutes of the first half cutting the deficit to just two points with 30 seconds to play. However, a Pioneer bucket with six ticks left on the clock gave them their four-point they would take into the locker room, up 45-41 at the break.
Despite trailing at halftime, Honors II was at it again scoring on two straight layups including a reverse effort that tied the game at 45 all less than two minutes into the second half. After Transylvania connected on a three-point effort, Honors II again drove the lane and laid it in for his third straight make of the early minutes in the second half as PC trailed by just one.
After Transylvania used an 8-0 run to open up a nine-point lead at the 14:30 mark, Brian Edwards tabbed a bucket and the foul to cut the deficit down to six before another Piedmont bucket trimmed it down further with PC now behind four with 13 minutes to go as the Lions refused to allow the home team to slip too far away.
With 9:19 remaining, the Transy lead was cut down to seven points by a pair of Honors II free throws but a Pioneer dunk put the home team back up nine just seconds later. Not fazed by the move down low by Transy, Honors II continued his spectacular night hitting a three-pointer the next time up the floor. However, despite leading all Lions in scoring through that point with his 24, the home team continued to get scores themselves pushing the lead back up to 10 points on a Monroe layup with 7:45 to go.
Piedmont continued to battle though as a pair of Edwards free throws at the 5:21 mark cut the lead for the home team back down to six points. Less than 40 seconds later, Piedmont's Edwards picked up another old-fashioned three-point play cut the margin down to four points with Transy leading 80-76.
As quickly as the margin was cut down by PC, Transy would open its lead back up again to a seemingly comfortable margin with a 7-0 run as they continued to stay in front despite rallying efforts from Piedmont.
With the Pioneers up eight at 92-84 and 1:22 on the clock, Piedmont's Austin Pearson stepped up big coming off a screen to knock down his third three-pointer of the night cutting the lead down to just five points. The two teams traded buckets over the next 30 seconds until Piedmont forced a turnover and converted a two-point try to make it a one-possession game at 94-91.
However, Piedmont was unable to score their next three possessions and were forced to put the Pioneers on the line where Transy connected on four of six tries to put the game out of reach though a Lion three-pointer at the buzzer made the final 98-94.
The story on the night for the Lions was the offensive show that a pair of players put on for the green and gold as junior Alton Honors II combined with freshman Brian Edwards to score 57 of the team's 94 points on the night.
Honors II tallied 26 of those 57 points as he connected on eight of 13 field goal tries including two from beyond the arc while also connecting on eight of his ten free throws. The junior guard from Plant City, Florida had a pair of dunks on the night including one in the opening minutes of the game while also coming up with a pair of steals and assists to add to his performance. For Honors II, the 26 points was a season-high while his 61% shooting from the field was second only to his 80% showing against Oglethorpe in the Lions' previous game.
Edwards earned his 31 points, a season-high mark by any Piedmont Lion this season, by hitting ten of his 15 shots from the field with nine of those made baskets coming inside the three-point arc. The freshman also picked up ten points at the line while tying for the team lead in rebounds (7) along with Chris Meeks who was the only other Lion in double-figures with his 14 total points.
Edwards became the first Lion to score 30-plus points in a game since teammate Jessie Jenkins did so more than two years ago in a 102-66 win over Free Will Baptist Bible College on December 3rd, 2011.
With the loss, Piedmont falls to 4-3 on the season having dropped two straight decisions for the first time in 2013-14. The Lions will finish up their competition in the prestigious Don Lane Classic hosted by Transylvania University Wednesday night when they face Capital University in the 5:00 pm game.
Their contest with the Crusaders, who fell in double overtime in their first action at the Don Lane Classic earlier tonight to Maryville College, will be the final game for PC in the calendar year.
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