MISENHEIMER, N.C. – KC Anuna (Nashville, TN) knocked down a fade away jumper from just above the free throw line with 0.7 seconds left in overtime to send Pfeiffer University to a thrilling 91-89 victory over Mount Olive College in the 2012 Conference Carolinas home opener on Thursday night. Anuna’s clutch shot moves the Falcons to their third-straight win now 8-4 overall, 2-0 in league play while the Trojans drop to 8-4, 1-1.
Neither team could manage a point in the first 2:11 of overtime until Danny Smith (Baltimore, MD) converted a jumper and three-point play to give Pfeiffer its first lead since the 6:34 mark of the first half. After a three-pointer from Elijah Matthews (Clinton, MD) put the Falcons up five with 75 seconds left, a three by Mount Olive’s Derek Staton (Norfolk, VA) and layup by Craig Hayes (Woodbridge, VA) with 17 seconds left set the stage for Anuna. Driving towards the lane, Anuna would stop and pop to hit the game-winner with 0.7 remaining.
Just to force overtime, the Falcons needed to erase an 11-point deficit with 8:24 to play in regulation. The comeback began with another triple from Matthews as his long-range shot started a 13-4 run capped by another basket of his for a 76-74 ballgame with 3:46 remaining.
A pair of Deshaune Green (Portsmouth, VA) free throws put the Trojans back up five with 2:20 on the clock until a layup from Anuna and three-point play by Matthews, that started from a steal on a Mount Olive in-bound pass, squared the contest at 81-81. With under a minute left in regulation, Kendall Hargrove (Woodbridge, VA) hit both free throw attempts with 24 ticks left to put Mount Olive back up two.
Out of a 30-second Pfeiffer timeout, Smith would drive the lane and convert the lay in for the ninth tie of the night eventually sending it into overtime. Anuna, before thoughts of a game-winner in overtime, perhaps saved the game for the Falcons blocking a Dory Hines (Kinston, NC) game-winning jumper attempt as the buzzer sounded to end regulation.
Pfeiffer shot 52% from the floor in the victory led by Smith’s 26 and Anuna’s 21. Hargrove and Staton each finished in the 20-point category for Mount Olive with 27 and 21 respectively. The Falcons defense held the Trojans to a 38% shooting percentage in the second half to get back in the contest, while limiting the visitors to just 20% shooting in the extra session.
After a quick day off on Friday, the Falcons will take a trip to Lees-McRae on Saturday completing their three-game stretch in the first week of league play. Tip time is set for 4:00 p.m. with live stats and video being available through http://www.gofalconsports.com.