Tacoma Park, MD- A snowy afternoon in Maryland delayed the Falcons second game in the A.I.I. East Coast Classic until last evening at 6pm when Fisher took on conference opponent Fisk University. The two teams played to exact scores in each half forcing overtime, the second time this season the Falcons headed to extra minutes. It looked like the game would head to double OT as the game was tied 73-73 with :16 left, but a Bulldogs 3-pointer from Montreal Nabors at the buzzer sealed the 76-73 victory. The loss was the fifth in a row for the Falcons, the longest streak of the season, bringing their overall season record to 7-13. The Falcons have played well over the last five games, despite the outcome, as the margin of defeat in four of the five games is an average of just four points.
Fisk jumped out to an early lead in the first half as they scored the games first 12 points, leading 12-0 after 4:30 minutes of play. The Bulldogs continued to put on the pressure as they got up by as many as 17 after a 3-point play from Nabors upped the lead to 23-6 with 5:35 remaining in the half. Fisher responded with their own 11-0 run cutting the Bulldogs lead to six at 23-17 after a Chris Sorapuru (Temecula, CA) free throw at the 2:14 mark. After a pair of buckets from Fisk put them back up by eight, the Falcons closed out the half with an 8-0 run to tie the game at 27 points a piece. Foul trouble played a role in the last few minutes of the half as six out of eight Falcons points in the run came by way of the charity stripe.
Fisher earned its first lead of the game out of the break as they tallied the first five points of the second half, including a three-pointer from Mena Yacoub (Clermont, FL) to go up 32-27. Over the next 12 minutes each team battled for the lead and did their best to create separation but neither team could get more than a five-point lead as there were six lead changes and two ties over that span. Fisher seemed to grab the momentum with 6:57 left on the clock as Jhalen Lumpkins (Sacramento, CA) was fouled on a made lay-up and hit his free throw for a 3-point play, putting his team up 58-51. Lumpkins continued to hit shots for his team as Fisk tried to claw their way back in, as he hit two in a row to give the Falcons a 65-59 lead with 2:38 left on the clock. After three free throws from Fisk got them back within three, a pair of made free throws from Anthony Lewis (Lodi, CA) gave the Falcons another five-point lead with 1:41 remaining. Fisher did all they could to hang on but three costly turnovers gave Fisk the opportunity to tie the game with a 3-pointer from Marcus Summerville with :13 seconds left tying it at 67. Lumpkins had a chance for a lay-up in the last seconds, but it bounced out and Fisk secured the board to force OT.
Fouls played a huge role in the extra minutes as 13 of the 18 points scored were from the line, with each team missing just two a piece. The game looked to be headed to double overtime as Kyle Snowden (Santa Cruz, CA) hit both of his free throws tying the game at 73-73 with :16 seconds left on the clock, but a buzzer beater 3-pointer from Nabors gave Fisk their 6th win of the season.
The Falcons were led by Lumpkins who led all scorers with 26 points on 10 for 15 shooting off the bench, while adding seven rebounds and five steals in the losing effort. Snowden finished with strong numbers as he tallied 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Dickson finished with 12 points, and was 10 for 10 from the free throw line. Ville Milan (Turku, Finland) played well defensively as he grabbed nine boards and a pair of steals in the loss. Nabors and Summerville led the way for the Bulldogs as they combined for 39 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in the victory.
Fisher will head back up to Boston on Monday with a week to rest before their next game next Tuesday at 7pm when they play host to the Newbury College Nighthawks at the Fecteau-Leary Gymnasium.