The Roadrunners gave the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzlies all they had Feb. 16 in front of a large crowd at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center before falling 81-76 in overtime.
SFCC (20-6, 3-3 in Region XVI) jumped out to a 10-4 lead to open the game, courtesy of a lay-up from sophomore center Matt Webb. The Roadrunners pushed the lead to 10 with 10 minutes remaining in the half.
“Our guys were ready,” said Roadrunners Head Coach Kevin Thomas. “Our energy and effort were great to start the game and our guys did exactly what we told them to do. We did a great job guarding Lonnie Hayes.”
The Grizzlies tied the game at 29 with about three minutes remaining in the half. West Plains closed the half on a run to take a five-point lead into halftime at 36-31.
SFCC opened with a 19-2 run capped by a lay-up by sophomore forward Filip Toric to give SFCC a 50-38 advantage with 14 minutes remaining in the game.
West Plains showed why it is the top-ranked team in the country. The Grizzlies trimmed the advantage to 50-43 with just over 12 minutes left in the game. SFCC went on a run to grab the biggest lead of the evening at 56-43 with 10 minutes and 34 seconds remaining.
West Plains chipped away at the lead. The Grizzlies took a 63-61 lead making two free throws with about three minutes remaining. SFCC’s Torres Roundtree scored on an offensive rebound and tied the contest at 63. The Roadrunners found themselves down 72-69, fired a quick three-point shot and missed. Toric grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it back out to freshman guard Alfonzo Houston, who buried a three-point shot from the top of the key to tie the game at 72 and send it to overtime. It was the fourth consecutive overtime game for the Roadrunners.
SFCC struggled offensively in overtime and the Grizzlies escaped with a victory.
Webb led three Roadrunners in doubles figures with 27 points. Houston contributed 18 points. Roundtree added 16 points. Webb led his team in rebounds with 17. Roundtree added 13. Sophomore guard Dominique Newton dished out a team-high four assists.
“It was a great crowd … the best I’ve seen at SFCC in the four years I’ve been here,” said Thomas. “I want to thank everybody. Coach Sash and I appreciate it and I know our players appreciate it.”