Owls Comeback Effort Falls Just Short
PARKVILLE, MO -- It came down to the very end for the William Woods University men's basketball team, but the comeback effort fell just short for the Owls in their AMC Quarterfinal game. Seth Thomas matched his career high with 19 points in the 61-66 loss to Park.
The Owls found themselves in a deep hole to open the first half, with Park reeling off five 3-pointers to take a 7-17 lead with 14:09 to go.
Thomas pulled WWU back within single digits with a trey off an assist from Logan Decker with 13:58 on the clock, but Park was able to stretch the margin back out to 11, eventually pulling away to a 16-point cushion.
After coming out of the locker room down 30-46, William Woods uncorked a 13-3 run, sparked by five straight points from Jonathon Nutt - a conventional three-point play and a layup on the break. Decker added five points, with Thomas capping the run with a trey.
The Owls continued the run, pulling to within 48-53 with 11:10 to go, but Park was able to stretch the margin back to 11 with 4:46 left in the contest.
A jumper from Thomas pulled William Woods to within a 52-61 deficit, with a jumper from Roy McElroy with 2:50 left closed the gap to seven.
With under a minute to go, WWU mounted a furious comeback. A Decker layup pulled the Owls to with six, and on the next possession a missed layup from Reco Anderson was swatted out of bounds, giving WWU the possession. Decker banked in a three-pointer off an assist from Andrew Miller to narrow the score to 61-64.
With 19.1 seconds left, the Owls came up with a big break, forcing a turnover, but they weren't able to get the ball inbounded cleanly and were forced to foul. Melvin Gatson made both of the free throws and Decker's last-possession effort was off the mark.
The Owls finish the season 14-17. WWU finished the game shooting at a .397 clip, holding Park to just 20 points on .231 shooting in the second half. Thomas led all scorers with 19 and Decker added 15 points - all in the second half - for the Owls. The Pirates finished with four scorers in double figures, led by Justin Hairston's 18. William Woods also owned the rebounding battle, with a 44-34 overall edge on the night.
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