College Hoops: Storm pass final league road test of season
There was very little room for error Wednesday evening as Davidson County Community College made the trip to Central Carolina.
In a game that had 16 ties, 13 lead changes and neither team leading by more than four points second half, the Storm gutted out a thrilling 86-84 victory over the Cougars. DCCC remains in the Region X regular season title hunt at 5-2 with one league game remaining.
Davidson held the largest lead of the night up 33-22 first half, but CCCC settled down and recovered for a 41-41 halftime score. It was a battle the remaining 20 minutes.
Central Carolina went up four 120 seconds in, but Stephen Staley eventually tied it on his lone basket of the night from behind the arc. Davidson built a lead of four on two successful trips to the line by Darius Howell. The Cougars tied the game again at 53-53, as the two teams jockeyed back and forth over the next few minutes.
With four minutes of game action left, the Cougars made one last effort to shake DCCC. Odarius Mills muscled up a shot for two in the lane and Chris Kelly glided in for another score. The next four points went to the Storm, leveling the score once more.
Remaining tied with two minutes to go, Robert Story hit both tosses of a double-bonus opportunity.
A miss on the other end led to Ace Chalmers' driving layup to post a lead of four.
Brandon Oparo hit two free throws for the Cougars who had a chance to tie or take the lead moments later by getting a jumpball. They inbounded the ball but were trapped in the corner and had to call for time. When play resumed, Billy Brunson was in position in the lane to tie it. Falling away on the shot over a defender, Brunson's attempt came off the other side of the rim and Daniel Lawson corralled it to save the night.
Lawson scored 21 points and Story added 14 for 18-4 Davidson.