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Livingstone loses lead, then rallies for OT victory at St. Augustine’s

Staff report

RALEIGH — Livingstone pulled out a thrilling 88-85 overtime CIAA men’s basketball victory over St. Augustine’s here Wednesday night.

The Blue Bears (7-12, 4-5 CIAA) were down to their last possession in regulation, trailing 73-70, with under 20 seconds remaining.

After guard Eric Dortch-Jones missed a game-tying, 3-point jumper, clutch forward Jimmy Wilson grabbed the rebound and was fouled on his follow shot lay-in with 12 seconds left.

Wilson made the free throw to tie the game for Livingstone. Anthony Gaskins then missed a possible game-winner at the buzzer for St. Augustine’s (10-11, 4-6).

In overtime, Livingstone immediately went up by four points on layups from post player David Duncan. However, the Falcons came right back to tie the score at 77-77.

The Blue Bears again went up by three, 80-77, on another Wilson layup and foul shot. Gaskins, who led all scorers with 26 points, promptly nailed a 3-pointer for another tie at the 1:17 mark.

The Blue Bears forged ahead for good 10 seconds later when guard Roger Ray, who led Livingstone with 21, sank two foul shots.

Following a Falcon missed jumper, Ray made two more three throws for a four-point lead (84-80) with 28 seconds remaining.

Gaskins drilled another 3-pointer to close the gap one last time, but free throws down the stretch from Wilson, first, and then Ray with 11 seconds left, sealed the deal for the Blue Bears.

Kasey Bryant’s jumper at the overtime buzzer missed its mark.

The win was a big one for coach James Stinson’s team, now winners of three of its last four games.

The Blue Bears won the game at the foul line, making 37 of a whopping 44 attempts, a solid 84 percent. Meanwhile, the Falcons dropped in just 50 percent (11-of-22) from the charity stripe.

Livingstone was out-rebounded by the Falcons, 50-40, but picked up 21 points off 20 St. Augustine’s turnovers. The Blue Bears committed just 11 turnovers.

Nine different Blue Bears took part in the scoring.

Ray was 13-of-15 at the foul line, for most of his 21 points. Wilson followed with 19 points (9-of-11 on free throws), Duncan scored 14 and Dortch-Jones added 10.

Wilson led the Livingstone rebounding with nine boards.

Following Gaskins’ big game, Quincy January scored 17 points and Bryant added 12. January had a huge game on the boards, grabbing 18 rebounds.

Livingstone made 45 percent (15-of-33) of its first-half shots to stake itself to a 41-32 advantage at intermission.

Livingstone returns to action on Saturday afternoon at Winston-Salem State (4 p.m.).

LIVINGSTONE (88) — Belfield 8, Burhannon 5, Duncan 14, Ray 21, Bailey 4, Clowney, Wilson 19, Dortch-Jones 10, Bond 4, McClendon 3, Stanback.

ST. AUGUSTINE’S (85) — Gaskins 26, January 17, Bryant 12, Cadogan 7, McDaniel 2, Melton 3, Denis, Harrison 4, Watson, Collins 7, Ruffin 7.

Livingstone            41    32    15 —   88

St. Augustine’s      32    41    12  —  85

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