GREENSBORO, N.C. – Senior D.J. Hinson’s two free throws with 2.9 seconds left in the second overtime period sent visiting Eastern Mennonite past Guilford 84-82 in a thrilling Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) game on Saturday.
The Royals (21-4, 12-4 ODAC), ranked 14th in this week’s D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, swept the season series from Guilford (16-9, 10-6 ODAC).
Hinson scored nine of his game-high 19 points in the extra time. His coast-to-coast layup with two seconds left tied the game at 75 and forced the second overtime. The senior’s 3-pointer opened the scoring in the second overtime and his layup with 39 seconds left opened an 82-79 Royals’ edge. Guilford’s Martin Stephenson made his second 3-pointer in three years with six seconds remaining to tie the game for the 12th and final time.
With both teams out of time outs, Eastern Mennonite pushed the ball up the floor and got it to Hinson, who drew a foul driving into the lane. He made both shots with 2.9 seconds left. Guilford inbounded the ball to junior Gabriel Lowder near midcourt. He drove down the sideline and got off a 3-pointer just before the horn, which bounced off the rim.
The contest featured 12 ties, nine lead changes and plenty of runs.
The Quakers scored the game’s first nine points, but Eastern Mennonite recovered quickly and led 42-38 at halftime. Senior George Johnson scored 10 of his 15 points early in the second half to help the Royals open a 14-point lead two minutes into the period, but Guilford rallied with a 14-2 run midway through the half and tied the game at 63 with 6:47 left in regulation.
Seniors Todd Phillips, Eli Crawford and Orie Pancione all scored 12 points for Eastern Mennonite, which had all five starters score in double figures. Pancione added nine boards. The Royals forced Guilford into 18 turnovers, which led to 23 points, and outscored Guilford in the paint 30-26.
Stephenson, one of four Guilford seniors making their final home appearance, matched his career high with 19 points. His bucket with two seconds left in regulation forced the first overtime.
Sophomore Josh Pittman also scored 19 points, 14 in the first half, which helped Guilford stay close. Sophomore Travis Tracy added 11 points off the bench.
Monroe’s game- and career-high 12 rebounds helped Guilford win the battle of the boards 50-39. Senior T.C. Anderson contributed 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 19 minutes before fouling out in the second half.