ABILENE, Texas – If Thursday night is any indication of the type of basketball that's played within the Heartland Conference, it will to be fun to watch, and a little nerve-racking.
Senior Kourtney Goff scored a game-high 27 points, and finished 10-for-12 from the charity stripe, as McMurry University dropped Newman University 92-90 in overtime Thursday evening at Kimbrell Arena.
Goff (Rochester, N.Y./Southern Illinois University) slashed through the Jets' defense and scored what proved to be the game-winning basket with 49 seconds remaining in overtime.
Then the War Hawks' defense came up with two defensive stands to clinch the win.
"In overtime it came down to who was going to make a defensive stop first," McM head coach Clif Carroll said. "Both teams were tired and running on fumes towards the end there. I'm proud of the mental toughness the team showed and a game like this hardens us."
Leading 81-71 with 2:39 remaining in the second half the War Hawks looked destined to close out the game in regulation. However, the Jets went on a 14-4 run and tied the game with 8 seconds remaining in the second stanza and forced overtime.
"We just didn't play well in the second half – at all," Carroll said. "We gave up 48 points and blew a lead and that's absolutely not acceptable. But you have to give credit to Newman. They are a well-coached basketball team and didn't quit."
The War Hawks – who topped 80 points for the second game in a row – scorched the Jets in the first half. As a team McM shot 58 percent (18-for-31) from the field, while the Jets couldn't leave the runway, and hit 36 percent (13-for-36) of their shots.
Senior Alfred Perez (Spring, Texas/Klein Collins HS) added 18 points and 13 rebounds for the double-double. Also, the War Hawks did a great job of sharing the rock had five players score in double figures.
"We will play team basketball and have different scorers each night," Carroll said. "We are going to move the ball around and go with the person who gets it done that night. That's the way I like it because it's harder to defend."
Juniors Connor Robinson (Austin,Texas/Bowie HS) and Hondo Webb (Denison, Texas/Lamar University) scored 13 points and freshman Jordan Holmes (Silsbee, Texas/Silsbee HS) added 13 points – and was 3-for-5 from behind the arc.
Elhad Emerllahu led the Jets (3-7, 0-2) with 19 points.
McM (5-4, 1-0) returns to Heartland Conference action Saturday afternoon and plays host to Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Tip is set for 3 p.m. at Kimbrell Arena.
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