Presbyterian Wins OT Thriller 80-77 at VMI
LEXINGTON, Va. – JC Younger drilled a corner three-pointer with 0.5 seconds left in overtime Monday evening to lift visiting Presbyterian University to an 80-77 win over the VMI men’s basketball team in Cameron Hall.
The Keydets fought back from a 14-point second-half deficit to lead 65-61 with five minutes left. The Blue Hose tied the game at 65 and seemingly had the game won in regulation on a three-pointer from Younger with 3.8 seconds remaining. VMI freshman Kamdyn Curfman banked home a running three-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime.
Keydet freshman Travis Evee nailed two treys and sophomore Jake Stephens converted on a traditional three-point play to give VMI a 77-74 lead with 2:13 left in OT. Cory Hightower hit the game-tying three-pointer to set up Younger’s last second heroics. The Blue Hose nailed 3-of-5 three-pointers in the game’s extra five minute overtime session.
Evee paced VMI with a career-high 20 points, connecting on 6-of-9 shots from distance. Curfman hit four treys and finished with 12 points, and Stephens posted nine points, a team-high 10 rebounds, and two blocked shots. Garrett Gilkeson had a big stat line of eight points, seven rebounds and six assists, Greg Parham scored 10 and Louis Tang had eight. Will Miller gave VMI a spark off the bench with a basket, five boards, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in nine minutes of action.
Ben Drake tallied game-highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds for Presbyterian (1-1). Hightower had 23 points and six caroms, while Younger hit three three-pointers, two in overtime and the third at the end of regulation.
VMI led 8-6 in the first half, but the Blue Hose used a 22-6 run to take a 28-14 lead with 7:30 left. The visitors led 42-30 at halftime. VMI shot 39 percent from beyond the three-point arc for the game, 23.5% in the first half, 53.3% in the second and 50% in overtime. Presbyterian hit 47.6 percent of its three-point shots.
The Keydets (0-3) will travel to Arkansas later this week to open play at the Red Wolves Classic. They have games slated against host school Arkansas State (Thursday), Idaho (Friday) and UC Davis (Sunday) before returning home to face Christendom Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Quotes from VMI head coach Dan Earl:
“Very tough. Another buzzer beater, but I’m really proud of our guys for fighting back. We flipped the script from our first two games and didn’t play well in the first half for whatever reason and started to figure things out in the second half and made some shots. I thought we played with a ton of energy and had some guys come off the bench to help us out. Travis Evee, Camdyn Curfman, Louis Tang as well. A bunch of guys positively affected the game.
“I’d like to thank all the corps here tonight. They were awesome. We certainly appreciate it.”
“I thought we did a better job of moving the ball in the second half and they were kind of hedging ball screens and we were throwing the ball back and we got good ball movement. And to be honest, it helps to make a couple of shots. We had some good looks in the first half, but when the ball goes in, you always have a little more energy and certainly making a couple more shots helped. Unfortunately, they had some size and Ben Drake played really well as did Hightower and they made a few too many plays. We needed one more effort on a variety of plays, but we have to learn from that.”