Shephard caps furious comeback with game-winning trey
Alamosa, Colo.ó Down by 11 with less than three minutes left, the Fort Hays State University Tigers capped a furious late comeback with a game-winning 3-pointer by 6-foot-3 junior guard Tyrone Shephard as the Tigers escaped Plachy Hall with a 73-72 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win over the host Adams State College Grizzlies. FHSU improved to 11-3 overall and 5-1 in league action while ASC is still looking for itsí first win of the season and is now 0-14 (0-6 RMAC).
The Grizzlies took a 65-54 lead on two Larry Charles free throws with 2:26 to go before Shephard completed an old-fashion 3-point play just 13 seconds later. The Tigers then hit their next free throws while Charles missed one of two as the Tigers closed to within 66-61 with 1:41 left.
After a David Mitchell layup off of a pretty David Hull pass, FHSUís Derrick Turner scored a bucket while drawing a Charles foul. Looking to cut the deficit to just four with 1:24 left, the Grizzlies took advantage of a Tiger miss before coming up empty on the other end.
DaMarcus Foster, who tied Shephard for the FHSU scoring lead with 17 points, then made it a 68-66 ball game with a 25-foot off-the-glass trey with just 47 seconds left.
Hull doubled the Grizzliesí lead with two free throws just a second later, before Derrick Graham sliced the Tiger deficit to just two with 40 ticks remaining.
Charles, who scored a career-high 19 points, then missed two key free throws before Graham tied the game with a big layup with 16 seconds remaining. Not to be outdone, Hull went coast-to-coast before hitting a jumper to give ASC a 72-70 lead with 12 seconds left.
Shephard then nailed what proved to be the game winner with eight seconds left from the top of the key. In a last-ditch effort, Charles watched his shot be blocked by Jeremy Atwater as the ball sailed out with 1.2 seconds left.
Then, after a Grizzly timeout, Mitchell missed a 16-footer from the right corner as FHSU held on for its tenth win in the last 11 games.
The Tigers shot just 36.7 percent (22-60) on the night but took advantage of eight treys, two of which came in the last minute. Using solid clock management, the Tigers scored 17 points in the final 2:13 of the game.
ASC shot 51.0 percent (25-49) from the field, but also committed 21 turnovers, which turned into 19 Tiger points.
Charles, who did not start for the first time this season, scored 15 of his points in the second half as the Grizzlies built an 49-38 lead after leading by just two at the break. Charles had eight of his points in a 12-2 Grizzly run that gave them the 11-point edge with 11 minutes left.
Foster then hit back-to-back treys as the Tigers cut the gap two just four on a Shephard free throw with 9:40 to go.
Charles and Mitchell, who had 12 points, 10 of which came in the second stanza, then led another 9-2 Grizzly spurt to build ASCís lead back up to double figures. The teams then played evenly over the next 3-plus minutes before Shephard started FHSUís comeback.
The Grizzlies will try to bounce back on Saturday at 8 p.m. when they host the Chadron State College Eagles (10-4, 4-2 RMAC), 87-71 Friday night losers at Fort Lewis College. FHSU will head over Wolf Creek Pass to face FLC on Saturday, also at 8 p.m.