Lake Region State College overcome 10 point deficit over the final 14 minutes of the game to beat Northland Community and Technical College in the final game of the Sleep Inn Classic.
When it became urgent, Lake Region State College found a way to close out the Sleep Inn Classic with a win.
Eli Campbell’s free throw with 1.2 seconds left lifted the Royals to the 74-73 come from behind win over Northland Community and Technical College Sunday, Nov. 10. It concluded the annual three-day, 11 game event from the Sports Center.
“We had so much better urgency, emotion and intensity in the second half,” said Royals head coach Jared Marshall. “It wasn’t what you envision but we’ll take it.”
Trailing by 10 with 14:05 left, the Royals began cutting into the deficit. A Medi Obang 3-pointer with 9:49 made it a three point game but Neal Garcia’s 3 pushed the Pioneer advantage up to six. The lead remained five until a Leif Nelson (Devils Lake) 3 with 5:48 remaining made the score 62-60.
Dion Ford’s layup on the Royals next possession tied the game at 62-all but Zach Meyer’s basket gave the lead back to the Pioneers. Then … Obang hit em.
Obang connected on 3s on consecutive possessions that turned a Royals deficit into a four point advantage.
“Medi hit some huge shots for us. … Medi has been hitting those big shots his whole life. He and Eli aren’t strangers to the big stage. They were there when we needed them and they came up big,” Marshall said.
A Ford layup with 1:54 gave the Royals their largest lead of the night at seven but consecutive Pioneer 3s, one from Bakri Gubara and Brenson Alteme pulled Northland to within two, 72-70, with 37.1 seconds remaining.
Down three after Nelson went 1-of-2 from the line, the Pioneers called timeout with 14.2 left on the clock. Gubara got the ball on the inbounds play and drained a 3, tying the game at 73 with 8.4 remaining.
Campbell is fouled on the drive and made the first of two free throws to win it for the Royals.
Daveonte Davis scored 17 points and had five rebounds before being knocked out the game late in the second half. Obang was 4 for 7 from beyond the arc to finish with 16 points and Ford had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Royals who improved to 3-3 overall after closing out the final two days of the Classic with consecutive wins after losing to Gillette on Nov. 8.
“Overall, my biggest concern is the rebounding and that is something that wears on me. And our other thing is consistency. Sometimes we’re the best team on the floor and we can do anything that we want and other times we get lazy defensively and don’t execute offensively so I’m just talking to them about being consistent throughout the year,” Marshall said.
The Pioneers out rebounded the Royals 46-32.
Gubara made five 3s to finish with a game-high 23 points and Meyer had 18 points and nine rebounds to pace the Pioneers.
There were only two lead changes for the game, the first after a Meyer 3 made the score 9-8 Northland.
Chris Harris can be reached at email@example.com.