Fire Knocks Off No. 20 Southern Poly Tech in Overtime
November 10, 2011
Pollock Leads SEU With 26 Points; Johnson Ends With 17 Points
LAKELAND, Fla.—Southeastern University earned one of their biggest victories in program history, Thursday night, in the SEU Sportsplex before 500 rowdy Fire fans.
SEU stunned No. 20 Southern Poly Tech, 88-85, in overtime to improve to 4-0 on the season.
The Fire received a monster game from senior, Malcolm Pollock, who led all scorers with 26 points. Pollock finished 8-of-12 from the field, and 10-of-12 from the free throw line to go with nine rebounds and three assists.
Southeastern led, 39-36, at the half as they held the Hornets to just 34% shooting from the field. SEU also forced nine turnovers and took advantage of nine offensive rebounds.
But, in the second half, Tech buried seven three-point field goals, and used a swarming defense to build an eight point lead with under five minutes to play. Tech forced SEU into 26 turnovers on the night.
Southeastern trailed 76-70 with under two minutes to play, but rallied and cut the score to, 76-74, with under 30 seconds to play. Needing a defensive stop, Tech’s Trey Payne turned the ball over with under 20 seconds, giving the Fire a chance to tie or go for the win.
On the Fire’s next possession, SEU point guard Dwayne Johnson penetrated drawing defenders and kicked the ball out to Pollock for a game-winning three-point attempt. Pollock missed the shot, but Johnson was fouled during a scramble for the loose ball, and went to the free throw line with .04 seconds remaining. Johnson had to make both free throws to force overtime, and he connected on both shots sending the Sportsplex into a mad frenzy. Regulation ended with the score tied, 76-76.
The Fire grabbed the first points of overtime, before Tech’s Cortez Irby made a basket and was fouled to give Tech a, 79-78, advantage.
From that point, Southeastern executed down the stretch, and converted on some clutch free throws to pull ahead, 88-85, with under 30 seconds to play. Payne had two attempts for Tech to tie the score from three-point land, but the Hornets could not convert as the ball went out of bounds, in favor of Southeastern with just one second to go.
Johnson controlled the inbound pass to end the game as Southeastern fans stormed the court in celebration of the Fire’s monumental victory.
Free throw shooting was a huge factor in the Fire’s victory. SEU shot 35-of-44 from the charity stripe on the night.
Johnson finished with 17 points, five assists, and four steals. He was also clutch at the free throw line, finishing 13-of-14 for the game.
SEU also finished with a major advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Hornets 47-35.
John Williams had an excellent game off the bench, scoring 11 points and pulling down a team high 11 rebounds. Povilas Gaidys added 10 points and six rebounds while Dyami Thurman chipped in with nine points and four rebounds.
Bobby Smith led Tech with 20 points while Irby finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
Southeastern will now hit the road for a six game trip, starting tomorrow night when they will take on St. Leo University. The Fire will not play at home again until November 28th, when they will host Clearwater Christian College.