Aggies Make Improbable Comeback For 77-68 OT WinFebruary 29, 2012
ALLEN, Texas (Feb. 29, 2012) — It took a full 40 minutes, plus five more, but Cameron did what it came to do, knocking off Incarnate Word 77-68 in OT.
The Aggies (15-10, 11-8) overcame a 15 point halftime deficit and forced the game into overtime, despite never holding a lead until the extra frame.
“The first half we came out flat,” said Head Coach Wade Alexander. “That’s probably because we were a little over anxious to play. We came back after halftime with a lot of heart, ran our plays and had a good result.”
“When you face a deficit like that, shot selection was a major key. We needed to get to the basket, get fouled and get to the line, to overcome that deficit.”
Cameron took its first lead of the game in overtime at 64-62 on a jumper by newly minted Conference Player of the Year, Milton Garner. A three by Thomas Razor extended CU’s lead to four at 68-64 with 2:40 remaining in the extra period. From there, the Black and Gold outscored UIW 9-4 to seal the overtime victory.
““You have to get good stops and get rebounds and allow just one shot to overcome that deficit,” Alexander said. “I told the guys that you need to want it at this point to pull out a victory.”
Cameron’s comeback began with 15 minutes left, as CU stormed out on a 16-0 run to tie the game at 42 with 10 minutes to play. Garner struggled throughout the game but made the big shot when his team needed him. He was able to nail his only 3-pointer of the game with 3:29 remaining to tie the game at 59. After the Cardinals went up three with 1:09 left, but Cameron refused to rollover, pushing the game back into a tie with: 09 left on the clock. Garner finished the game with 13 points on 4-15 shooting, with all his points coming in the second half (4-11 in the 2nd half).
“In the first half, my shots weren’t falling, but I kept in there and kept taking the right shots to help my teammates,” Garner said. “I knew my teammates needed me to come through. I had to be patient take the open shots they (Cardnials) gave me.”
The first half was not kind to Cameron, as the Aggies struggled to find points. The team scored only 15 points on 5-23 shooting (21.7%). The Cardinals also had the advantage on the boards in the half, finishing with 23 boards to CU’s 16. Razor was the lone bright spot in the half, leading CU in scoring for the period with four. He finished the game with 16 points on 4-9 shooting.
“The first half was scary,” Razor said. “I was nervous the whole time. But I kept my composure and tried to be the leader I’ve needed to be all year long. I had to help make sure we got the right shots we needed to.”
Desmond Henry was the most active Aggie tonight, leading the team in scoring with 26 points, including 14-20 from the line, both CU play-off records. Henry also led the team in rebounds with nine.
“We needed Dez (Desmond Henry) to step up,” Alexander said. “He’s got the talent. You just never know what you might get. We have to press buttons to get him going and tonight it worked.”
The win was Cameron’s first conference tournament win since the 1992-93 tournament. That year, the Aggies knocked off Texas A&M-Commerce 76-72. CU will now prepare to play the winner of #1 Midwestern State and #8 Texas A&M-Commerce. Tip-off will be Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the Allen Event Center.
For more information on the tournament, go to www.lonestarconference.org.