Lon Morris got free throws from Jorge Redmon (Arlington, Texas) and Igor Premasunac (Zagreb, Crotia) in the final minute of play to upset No. 22-ranked and previously undefeated South Plains College 53-51 of Levelland, Texas on Friday night at the Smith Events Center.
The Bearcats stretch their season record to( 5-0) with the victory, which came on the opening night of the Lon Morris Classic.
While Redmon’s shot from the charity line tied the game at the 50-second mark and Premasunac’s free throw with 5.9 ticks remaining was the game winner, it was the LMC defense that was the story of the night.
LMC was able to cool off the normally high-powered Texan (4-1) attack by holding the visitors to 32.2 (19-of-59) percent from the field.
The teams traded runs early in the final half as LMC went in front 32-27 at the 13:15 interval when Redmon capped off an 8-0 ‘Cat spurt by making good on a layup.
The Texans came right back and moved in front by seven points, 44-37, with 7:13 left to play as SPC was able to chalk up a 10-0 progression as Derrell Edwards accounted for all 10 points scored in the scoring streak, including back-to-back three balls from the wing.
Edwards went on to lead SPC in scoring with 18 points while Premasunac paced the Green and White with a dozen and a half points as well.
LMC used a 5-0 scoring burst that began when Dallas Jones (New Market, Ala.) drained a trey from the left corner that propelled the ‘Cats to within a single point, 50-49, with 2:02 to play.
A field goal by Premasunac gave LMC a short-lived lead as the ‘Cats went in front 51-50, only to have the game tied on a free throw by SPC’s Stanton Kidd at the 50-tick point.
The remainder of the scoring in the game was limited to the two LMC free throws in the final 50 seconds of play.
The Texans had one last chance to win the game which came as a result of SPC’s Greg Gainey and the ‘Cats’ Niko Stojiljkovic rolling around on the court fighting to gain control of the loose ball that caromed off the rim when Premasunac missed the second of two shots from the line.
The officials called for a jump ball on the play and with the arrow pointing the Texans’ way, SPC was able to have one final chance.
The Texans inbounded the ball in front of the LMC bench with 1.3 seconds showing on the scoreboard with Edwards unleashing a desperation toss from near mid-court that well missed its mark as the horn sounded to end the game.
Jones added 13 points for LMC, with Redmon and Antoine Brown (Brooklyn, NY) pitching in seven each.
Brown and Premasunac were the top board sweepers for the ‘Cats, hauling in six caroms each.
Greg Gainey came in off the bench to spark SPC with 17 points and five boards.
LMC shot 42-percent (21-of-50) from the field but struggled at the free thrown line. The ‘Cats shot just 40-percent (6-of-15) from the charity stripe.
NOTE: The game pitted two of the top junior college coaches in the state — SPC’s Steve Green who has a 252-71 lifetime coaching record and LMC’s Dale Dotson who has over 400-career wins — matching wits against each other...The SPC defeat was the first time that a Green-coached squad has lost to the ‘Cats in three meetings...SPC has been predicted to finish in third place in the WJCAC race this season, behind national powers Midland College and Howard College.
Lon Morris College 53
No. 22 South Plains College 51
SPC 21 30 —51
LMC 20 33 —53
SPC — Stanton Kidd, 3; Kenny Brown, 2; Deshaunt Walker, 4; Derrell Edwards, 18; Brandon Thompson, 5; Kendall Hosten, 2; Greg Gainey, 17.
LMC — Dallas Jones, 13; Jorge Redmon, 7; Antoine Brown, 7; Igor Premasunac, 18; Niko Stojiljkovic, 4; Vernell Blackman, 4.
Three Point Goals — SPC-Edwards (2), Thompson; LMC-Jones (2), Brown (2), Premasunac.
Rebounds — SPC-43; LMC-35
Turnovers — SPC-22; LMC-20
Records — South Plains College 4-1; Lon Morris College 5-0.