January 24, 2008

Knox County Nixes Tigers Hopes of Conference Perfection Repeat

An ideal Courtwarming celebration would have been capped off Friday night at Memphis by an upset victory over Knox County. But the Eagles dashed any hope of Scotland County repeating an undefeated conference season with a big third period run that put a damper on the Tigers night of festivities.

Early on the Tigers appeared to be feeding on the packed house, as the crowdís energy overflowed onto the court. Scotland County played inspired ball the first 16 minutes of the night, keeping pace with a squad that had just weeks early dominated the Tigers.

Cody Musgrove and Travis Trueblood hit early shots to put SCR-I ahead 4-0. Musgrove added two more buckets but was forced to the bench with a pair of early fouls. His replacement, Jacob Howard, tied the game with a basket in the paint and then converted an offensive rebound at the buzzer to put the Tigers ahead 12-10.

After the Eagles tied the game to open the second period, baskets by Andrew Duley and Howard put SCR-I on top 16-12 with 6:26 on the clock, forcing a Knox County timeout.

Kyle Shelley got into the act with a pair of buckets in the paint, and more importantly picked up the third foul on Knox Countyís Dennis Dent, sending him to the bench with 3:16 remaining in the first half.

Musgrove, who was battling the flu, came back in midway through the second period, but quickly was whistled for his third foul, sending him back to the pine.

Daniel McMahon picked up the slack for the Eagles, scoring seven points late to help the Eagles lead 27-25 at the intermission.

Howard started the second half with back-to-back baskets to knot the score at 31-31.

But Knox County went on an 8-0 run that stole much of the momentum. Musgrove ended the spurt when he scored in the paint to make it 39-33 with 3:08 on the clock.

He went to the bench with his fourth foul with 1:41 remaining in the third period.

Dent took advantage of the absence of his adversary, scoring 13 points in the third period and helping the Eagles take a 50-36 lead.

The two teams traded baskets in the final eight minutes with SCR-I unable to cut into the deficit.

Brandon Garett scored five points down the stretch but the Eagles held on for the 57-45 win.

Dent finished with 21 points to lead the Eagles (9-5, 3-1) to the league win. Howard finished with 15 points to pace the Tigers (5-7, 0-1). Musgrove finished with 11 and Trueblood had six.

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