PEMBROKE — Purnell picked up their first Southeastern conference win in three years on Friday — in overtime against the Scots. The 68-64 loss came as shock to the Scots after putting up almost 90 points the week before against Richmond.
The Scots offensive struggles started early as they only scored five points the entire first quarter.The Scots tried passing the ball more than usual and tried to get better looks at the basket, but just couldn’t buy points in the first eight minutes.
A second quarter surge allowed the Scots to go into the locker room down only two points, 24-22. The Scots found the basket in the third quarter, as they fed senior Al Farmer down low to take a 29-26 lead. An 11-4 in the beginning of the quarter propelled the Scots ahead of the Rams, 36-34 heading into the final eight minutes.
The fourth quarter was a foot race up and down the court, as the Rams put on the pressure causing several Scots turnovers. Purnell’s size down low helped them keep the game close as the Scots were unable to stop their bigs.
A basket and trip to the line by the Scots Justin McRae gave the Scots a one-point lead, 55-54 with 1:49 left in regulation. A quick basket by Purnell gave the Rams the lead back. The Scots Tyrese Baucum then made a trip to the free-throw line to cause yet another lead change with 38.9 seconds left.
Following the Scots trip to the line, Purnell called a timeout to regroup. The Rams went down the floor and picked up the foul on the Scots. Purnell’s Shawn Williamson split his free-throws, but it was enough to tie the game at 57 with 20.7 seconds left.
The Scots drove down the court and took their shot, but the ball rolled off the rim to end regulation.
In overtime, Purnell continued to use their size to draw fouls, which resulted in six trips to the line and seven points. The free-throws along with two baskets were all the Rams needed to secure their first conference win in three years over the Scots, 68-64.
With the loss, the Fighting Scots move to 9-10 overall and 1-4 in SEC play. Purnell moves to 3-12 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
The Scots have five conference games left before the SEC tournament. They return home all next week for a stretch of three homes games. The team will open their home games with Pinecrest today, followed by a make-up game with Purnell on Feb. 1 before closing out the week against Hoke on Feb. 3. Tip off for all three games will be 7:30 p.m.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.