WEST PLAINS, Mo. — Tuesday night provided the perfect game for fans of offensive fire power. Three Rivers went toe to toe with No. 16 Missouri State-West Plains in an overtime shootout that came down to who got off the final posession in a game that featured 26 ties and 11 lead changes. After trailing 110-104 in the final two minutes of overtime, sophomore Tristan Jarrett drove the lane and hit an up-and-under layup. Three Rivers earned a stop on defense, and freshman Tallon Fonda drove down the right side for a scoop layup off the glass. Fonda then tied things up with under 30 seconds left with an opencourt dunk after coming up with a steal near halfcourt. The Grizzlies had one last chance to win. Sophomore Eric Lovett was fouled on a drive with four seconds remaining in the game. He broke the tie with a pair of makes at the free-throw line, and a Three Rivers turnover in the backcourt secured a 112-110 win for the 16th-ranked Grizzlies. It was the second straight game in which the Raiders scored 110 after putting up the same total against West Kentucky Saturday.
The Raiders (2-3) had to come up with multiple runs to force overtime in a game that doesn't count against their regional record. Trailing by five with 2:19 left in regulation, sophomore Willie Lucas nailed a 3 in the corner off an inbounds pass from Jarrett. Jarrett was then fouled on a shot, sinking both free throws for two of his season-high 39 points and tying the game with 1:04 left. The Grizzlies (4-1) regained the lead with a jumper, but Jarrett responded and gave the Raiders their first lead since the 18:10 mark of the second half with a driving spin and finish off the glass through a blocking foul. He converted the free throw to complete the old fashioned 3-point play. The nail-biter continued as Burone Edwards nailed a jump shot with 26 seconds left to put the Grizzlies up one. Lucas was fouled on the ensuing possession and split a pair of free throws with nine seconds left. Dravon Clayborn missed a 3 to send the game to overtime tied at 97. The Raiders had multiple chances to win a game in which neither team led by more than nine points. A 15-6 run in the first half put the visiting Raiders up 21-13 early in the first half. Freshman Jay Hines started the game with the hot hand before eventually fouling out in overtime. He started the run with an easy layup off a driving dish from redshirt freshman Khalil Johnson. On the next possession, Hines scored another pair down low off a well-timed cut. Lucas followed up with one of his six made 3-pointers, and Aaron Tait drove the lane for a layup off the glass on the ensuing possession. The hosts quickly responded with a 10-2 run to tie the game. Johde Campbell began the run with one of his five first-half 3s, and Sardarr Calhoun added another after an Austin Parker jump shot. Campbell connected on another 3, making two in just over a minute. Both teams began trading baskets in a back and forth contest as neither side led by more than six for the next 18 minutes of game time. The Raiders trailed by three going into the last possession of the first half, but a fortuitous deflection landed in the hands of Lucas in the left corner, and he sank a 3 at the buzzer to tie the game at the intermission. The second half was neck and neck for the first seven minutes, but the Grizzlies created some separation and started a 9-0 run at the 14:08 mark. After two free throws from Niekie Thomas, Lovett rattled off five straight points with a steal and an aggressive tomahawk dunk and a triple on the wing. Niekie added another pair of free throws to finish off the run. Lucas helped the Raiders stem the tide with two more 3s in the corner to pull the Raiders back within one possession. The Grizzlies kept the visitors at an arm's length for the next seven minutes, but Three Rivers found one more run to force overtime, where it ultimately came up just short. Jarrett and Lucas both turned in double doubles for Three Rivers. Jarrett added 10 rebounds to go with his 39 points and seven assists on 15 of 28 shooting. Lucas shot 6 of 11 and finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Fonda added 15 to round out double figure scorers for the Raiders. The Grizzlies offense shot 51 percent in the win. Three Rivers will travel to Park Hills for a neutralsite game against Triton at 5 p.m. Friday at Mineral Area College.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic