Friday, March 7, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Paine College men’s basketball team lost to Fort Valley 64-61 in a tight semifinals matchup during the 2014 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Basketball Tournament in Birmingham, Ala., on March 7.
Both teams started the game sluggishly on the offensive side of the ball with only 14 combined points scored in the first eight minutes of the game. To end the first half, Jordan Warner stole the ball from Fort Valley’s LeRoy Broner as he drove to the hole hoping for the last second bucket. Instead, Paine had the last move of the half with a Warner dunk to give the Lions a 31-29 lead going into halftime.
Fort Valley’s Montreal Holley quickly tied the game at 31 with free throws to begin the second half. The Wildcats soon pulled out to an eight point lead, their largest lead of the game, after a Brandon Davey layup and two Joshuah Davis three pointers. Things seemed to change for Paine with 11:56 remaining in the game when freshman Gianni Dailey nailed a three and was fouled by Davis. Dailey made his free throw to tie the game at 43. A few minutes later, Dailey was again fouled off a successful three but this time by Davey. Dailey made the free throw and gave Paine another lead that they would keep until less than two minutes to play. Fort Valley’s Nigel Domineck made two free throws at the 1:41 mark to give his team a 59-57 lead. Although Paine inched back, the Wildcats continued scoring and maintained their final lead. In the final seconds, Kedric Taylor drove towards the hoop hoping to connect with a teammate for a game tying three. However, Taylor ended up turning the ball over on a bad pass with two seconds to play to close the game.
All in all, the game was tied 12 times, the lead changed 12 times and no team led by more than eight points. The Wildcats scored 28 points in the paint and 23 points off of Paine’s 24 turnovers. Both teams rebounding efforts proved to be equal with the Wildcats snagging 35 rebounds and Paine pulling down 35 rebounds. The Lions scored 20 points in the paint and gained another 21 points from Fort Valley’s 20 turnovers.
Paine was led by Alfonso Davis, Dailey and Kenny Fluellen who had 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively. Taylor (8) and Toby Veal (8) were the leading rebounders for Paine. Taylor also had eight points, seven rebounds and four steals. Warner (9) and Veal (7) were Paine’s other top scorers.
The Lions shot 37 percent from the field, 39 percent from behind the arc and 65 percent from the line. The Wildcats shot 42 percent from the field, 27 percent from behind the arc and 68 percent from the free throw line. Davey, the 2014 SIAC Player of the Year, led Fort Valley and the game in scoring with 20 points.