Posted: Feb 8, 2013 12:34 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2013 8:46 PM
FAYETTE, MO -- Graceland (Iowa) ended a seven-game losing streak with a 46-42 upset of Central Methodist in Heart of America Athletic Conference men's basketball play on Thursday night in Puckett Fieldhouse.
In the process, Graceland interim head coach Matt Shelton, filling in for Jeffrey Hamilton, led the Yellowjackets (6-19, 3-11 HAAC) to a win over his alma mater and father Jeff Sherman, who picked up his milestone 500th win against Matt and Graceland in Lamoni, Iowa, on Jan. 3.
The Eagles (14-11, 7-6 HAAC) fell behind 13-2 before answering the call, outscoring the Yellowjackets 19-8 in an 11:50 span. Melvin Tillman scored three of his 13 points on a trey to tie the game, 21-all, with 1:17 to play in the first half. After Graceland's Alex Roth made one of two free throws, Eric Franklin canned a trey as time expired that put the Eagles ahead 24-22 at halftime.
Central Methodist built a five-point cushion, 29-24, four minutes into the second period courtesy of an Elliott Black bucket in the paint, but both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net all night. Graceland hit only 32.7-percent (17-of-52) from the floor, while the Eagles shot 28-percent (14-of-50) during the contest.
Down by five, the Yellowjackets countered with a 14-2 run to take a 38-31 upper hand with 8:23 to play. The Eagles again responded, cutting the deficit to one point, 40-39, with 3:30 on the clock following a jumper by Tillman.
Trae Patton canned his only three of the game to put the visitors in front 45-40 at the 2:12 mark, but Black, the reigning Player of the Week in the conference, cut the difference to a one-possession game with 44 seconds remaining, giving Central Methodist a chance to tie at the end. A Central Methodist game-tying shot attempt with four seconds to go went awry, but a foul was called on Graceland's Max Francisco, sending the home team to the line for three free throws. However, the Eagles were unable to convert at the line, and Jake Doyle made one of two free throws for Graceland to preserve the victory.
Roth and Jamal Lawson finished with 12 points apiece for the Yellowjackets. Roth also had seven rebounds.
Black posted his third double-double of the season, leading all scorers on Thursday with 17 points while adding a game-high 12 rebounds. Alex Barner chipped in seven rebounds.
The Eagles outrebounded Graceland, 44-34.
Central Methodist travels to Avila (Mo.) on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. CT.
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