Owls Drop to Park in OT Thriller
PARKVILLE, MO -- Despite opening the game with three straight hits from distance and closing regulation with a thrilling last-gasp trey, D.J. Hoskins' 22-point night wasn't enough to give the William Woods University men's basketball team their sixth American Midwest Conference win of the year as the Owls fell 78-70 to Park University on Thursday night.
Hoskins powered the Owls to an early 11-6 lead, figuring in all four of WWU's opening four baskets. He hit on all three of his attempts from deep over the opening 4:13, interrupted only by a dish to Daniel Armah for an easy layup with 17:15 on the clock.
A 7-2 run by the Pirates put them in front 16-13 with 12:33 on the clock and they would continue to push, edging out to a 24-18 lead. A Kyle Enloe trey would cap the run at the 6:52 mark.
Jonathon Nutt found Armah in the lane to break the run, then he picked Torr Woodhouse's pocket and found Seth Thomas open on the next possession for a trey. Armah would pick up an assist to close out a 7-0 run for the Owls as Thomas banked in a layup to put WWU back in front 25-24 with 5:15 left in the half.
Each team would post a solid run down the stretch before going into the locker room deadlocked at 34-34. A 7-0 run by WWU answered an 8-2 spurt by the Pirates, with a Venton Wilder layup with 1:22 left representing the last scoring of the period.
Four of the first five scoring possessions in the second half were of the three-point variety, as Venton Wilder opened with a trey for Park that was answered by Hoskins. Roy McElroy's three-point play was answered by Enloe with 16:55 on the clock, but Park would continue with six straight points to pull out to a 46-40 lead with 14:41 left.
William Woods took a timeout with 13:49 to play, sparking a comeback. Armah picked up a huge block on one end of the floor and converted a jumper in the lane on the opposite end to tie the ballgame at 50-50 with 9:18 on the clock. Park went back in front briefly as Xavielle Brown converted a three-point play after getting fouled by Nutt, but the Palmyra native would atone for the foul by draining an open trey on the next possession.
Blake Burgess put WWU in front 54-53 with 7:47 on the clock, hitting one of two free throws after drawing a foul as he collected his own miss from three-point range. The teams would swap the lead back and forth three times over the next two minutes, with Park eventually extending out to a 59-56 lead as they were on the plus side of a two-for-one turnover swap.
Trailing 61-58 as the clock hit 2:00, the Owls were able to force a bad shot from the Pirates as the hosts were trying to run time off the clock. Nigel Van Oostrum's effort hit off the underside of the front iron, but the Owls needed an offensive rebound and putback by Hoskins to take advantage of the miss, as Armah missed both free throws after drawing a foul.
After the miss, Van Oostrum picked an opportune time for his first makes of the night. His layup with 1:05 left on the clock put the Pirates up 63-60, but Hoskins drained a trey from the corner with 43.8 seconds on the clock to tie the game.
The pair would continue with heroic efforts, as Van Oostrum calmly stroked a trey from NBA range with 9.0 seconds on the clock to put Park up 66-63, but the Owls were able to force overtime as Hoskins broke free from the crowd and hit a trey with 2.4 seconds on the clock.
In the extra frame, however, Van Oostrum was huge for the Pirates, assisting on two of three layups by Brown and knocking down four straight free throws to close out the game. After missing his only shot in nine attempts on the night to open the period, Armah converted a jumper in the lane with 3:17 on the clock, but it was the only field goal the Owls could muster.
Despite going 1-for-9 in overtime, the Owls finished the game with a .473-.415 shooting edge, and a .409-.320 edge from beyond the arc. Park made up for the accuracy deficit by heaving up 10 more attempts from the floor and owning a .889-563 edge at the free throw line. The Pirates hit on 16 of 18 trips to the free throw line, compared to nine makes in 16 attempts for WWU. The Owls were also plagued by turnovers, coughing the ball up 15 times to just eight giveaways for Park.
Hoskins was joined in double figures on the night by Armah (18 pts) and Nutt (10 pts), with Armah adding 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Enloe matched Hoskins' 22 points to lead the Pirates, with Wilder (14 pts), Brown (13 pts) and Jarvis Griffin (10 pts) finishing in double digits for Park.
Despite the loss, WWU (9-10 overall) remains in second place in the AMC with a 5-1 record, just half a game behind no. 1 Columbia College. Park moves to 4-2 in league play and 10-7 overall, a game behind the Owls in third.
WWU has the weekend off and will return to the court on Jan. 24. The Owls host Missouri Baptist in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff, presented by Red Weir Athletic Supplies.
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