Northeastern Stateâ??s Bryton Hobbs hit a leaner in the lane with 3.2 seconds on the clock, halting Trumanâ??s second half comeback effort and dealing the Bulldog men's basketball team a 72-71 setback in the championship game of the 2012 Quincy University Holiday Classic. Truman (4-5) found itself down 13 points late in the first half but pulled to within nine at 38-29 heading into the intermission.
The Bulldogs fell behind 5-0 out of the gate and never led in the first 20 minutes, shooting just 26% overall and 1-for-11 from three-point range. However, for the second straight night, the Bulldogs turned it on the second half, clawing back into the game and eventually taking a 65-64 lead on a Mike Carlson jump shot with 5:47 to play.
The squads would trade baskets all the way to 68-all with 2:39 to play before Tom Norton buried a triple with 1:50 on the clock for a 71-68 Bulldog advantage. NSU (9-1) would get a lay-up on its next possession before the teams traded empty trips down the court â?? setting up Bulldog basketball with 42 seconds to play.
Out of the timeout, however, Trumanâ??s play never materialized, and Norton was forced to fire a deep three-pointer as the shot clock expired.
His shot drew air, resulting in the ball out of bounds for the RiverHawks with 14 seconds on the clock. Following an NSU timeout, the Bulldogs forced Hobbs into an off-balanced shot that found the bottom of the net with 3.2 seconds to play.
A desperation heave by the Bulldogs was off the mark, ending the game at 72-71 in favor of Northeastern State. Carlson led all Bulldogs with his second straight 20-point night, pouring in 22 on 8-of-14 shooting (1-2 3FG) and a 5-for-7 night from the charity stripe.
The junior also led the Bulldogs with eight rebounds, including four on the offensive end. Norton came off the bench to score 15 points in 22 minutes, while sophomore Seth Jackson scored 10 points and added six rebounds.
Both senior EJ Hicks and freshman Jaylon Jones scored seven points off the bench, with Hicks adding six boards and a pair of assists. For the game, Truman shot 36.7% overall (22-of-60), including a 23.8% mark (5-of-21) from three-point range.
The Bulldogs continued their hot free throw shooting as of late, hitting 22-of-26 (84.6%), while also out-rebounding a taller RiverHawk squad 39-34.
Carlson was named to the all-tournament team by averaging 21.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 65% from the floor in the two nights. The Bulldogs will take the next week off to celebrate the Christmas holiday as part of the NCAA-mandated â??dead periodâ?? before returning to action on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 3:00 pm in Pershing Arena.
Truman will host future GLVC-foe Maryville (Mo.) in its final game of the 2012 calendar year.
Courtesy Truman State University