Posted: Jan 11, 2013 11:17 AM
HANNIBAL, MO -- Behind a double-double (18 pts/12 reb.) from Daniel Armah and a 16-point night from Jonathon Nutt, the William Woods University men's basketball team pulled off a huge comeback win over Hannibal-LaGrange University on Thursday night. After trailing by 16 points in the first half, the Owls recovered for a 74-66 win to move to 3-0 in American Midwest Conference play.
William Woods stumbled mightily out of the gates, connecting on just one of its first nine attempts from the floor as Hannibal-LaGrange opened up a 17-3 lead over the first six and a half minutes of the game. Back-to-back buckets by Armah pulled WWU to within 10 with 12:28 to go in the half, but the Trojans answered with six straight points to take a 23-7 lead with 11:25 on the clock.
The Owls uncorked a 23-8 run over the next eight minutes, finding their shooting touch. WWU connected on six of its next nine attempts from the floor and shot 8-of-9 from the free throw line during the run. Nutt was the big scorer for the Owls during the run, opening it with four straight points and adding a trey at the 3:56 mark. Seth Thomas added six points as well as WWU closed the gap to 30-31.
Each team was able to add just three points down the stretch, with the Trojans taking a 34-33 lead into the break.
After opening the second half with a block, Nutt briefly gave the Owls a 35-34 lead as he hit a jumper with 18:20 on the clock.
The lead would be short-lived, as Jurgen Lico and Herod Montgomery combined for a 13-6 Trojan run. HLGU edged back in front 47-41 with 15:13 left in the game.
A pair of free throw makes by Armah opened another big run for the Owls, as WWU turned a six-point deficit into an eight-point lead with a 17-3 run. The senior picked up six points to accompany a strong block and an offensive rebound during the spurt, with Dontre' Jenkins chipping in a pair of buckets along the way.
The Owls were able to hold off the Trojans over the final eleven minutes, resisting a small run around the four-minute mark. HLGU was able to narrow the WWU lead to 62-60 with 3:52 to play, but the Owls immediately pushed back out to a 69-62 lead with 1:18 to play, capped by an Armah three-point play.
HLGU threatened to narrow the game to one possession, as Lico forced a Nutt turnover with the Trojans trailing 69-64, but Logan Decker got a hand to Mario Dean's shot, for the block and rebound, firing a pass to Blake Burgess. Burgess was fouled, but made both of his free throws, adding two more makes with 17 seconds left to push the margin to eight before picking up a steal with six ticks left to seal the win.
William Woods moves to 3-0 in conference play for the first time in school history, and sits tied for first with no. 2 Columbia College. The Owls (6-9 overall) held the slightest of edges from the floor, hitting at a .510 clip to a .509 pace for HLGU. WWU was outshot from behind the arc (.529-.357) but made up for the deficit with a 14-of-17 performance from the free throw line, compared to just 3-of-6 for HLGU.
Burgess rounded out a trio of double-digit scorers for the Owls with 11 points, joining Armah and Nutt. Lico led all scorers with 21, with Jomal Green chipping in 13 points. Montgomery (12 pts) and Dean (11 pts) rounded out a quartet of double-digit scorers for Hannibal-LaGrange, who falls to 3-11 and 0-2 in league play.
The Owls take on Lyon College on Saturday with the opportunity to move to 4-0 in AMC action. Tipoff for the game, presented by Mid-City Lumber, is set for 4 p.m.