MEN'S BASKETBALL: Mississippi College withstands overtime scare from LeTourneau
CLINTON, Miss. – The Mississippi College Choctaws outlasted LeTourneau over a two-and-a-half minute scoreless stretch in overtime Thursday and held on to defeat the YellowJackets 79-73.
The Jackets forced overtime when Cristian Driver (Houston, Texas/Atascocita) drained a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 67-67. LeTourneau players shot two other long-range shots during that possession before forcing overtime.
Driver scored a career-high 19 points while playing 43 minutes for the YellowJackets on Thursday. Jourdan Hughes (Dallas, Texas/SW Christian College) added 16 points and five steals while playing 45 minutes of the game.
Trevon Malone scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Mississippi College (5-13, 4-11 ASC East). Marlon Ester scored 19 points for the Choctaws, which included a 4-of-8 showing from the 3-point circle.
The YellowJackets (4-16, 3-13 ASC East) erased a 65-56 Choctaw lead over the last three and a half minutes of regulation. LeTourneau players forced two steals while Hughes keyed an 8-0 run to pull LeTourneau to within one point.
Driver knocked down a jumper to cut MC's lead to 65-64 with a minute remaining. After Malone knocked down a layup with 35 seconds left, the Jackets were given three attempts to tie. Carter and Driver both missed 3-pointers, and after an offensive rebound by Luke Taylor, Jr. (Houston, Texas/Elsik) Driver tied the game.
The Jackets briefly led 71-69 in overtime, but after Hughes grabbed the lead for LeTourneau, Ester knocked down a trey to give the Choctaws a 72-71 lead with 3:10 remaining.
From there, the teams exchanged empty possessions while struggling to score points. The Jackets grabbed three offensive rebounds during that stretch.
Mississippi College broke the scoring drought with a layup by Brandon Blake that pushed the Choctaw lead to 74-71 with 44 seconds left. The Jackets were unable to tie, and the Choctaws put the game away at the free throw line.
The YellowJackets return to action Saturday when they head to Pineville, La., to face the Wildcats. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.