ABILENE, Texas - The McMurry men's basketball team fell for the second-straight time at home, as it was defeated, 72-70, at the hands of Newman University.
After a jumper by Takoby Jackson, Alfred Perez scored seven straight points for the War Hawks to help jump out to a four-point lead, 9-5, with 15:50 remaining in the first half.
The two teams would keep things close throughout most of the first half with McMurry neither team getting more than a four-point advantage until under six minutes to play.
With McM down one point, 22-21, with 6:40 to play, the War Hawks would go on a 17-8 run to close out the half. After taking the lead back on a layup by Perez, two free throws by Chris Campbell and a jumper by Jackson expanded the lead to five points.
After the Jets cut the lead to three, five-straight Jackson points pushed the lead back out two eight. Two more free throws, this time by DJ Stennis gave the War Hawks their first double-digit lead of the night, before a layup by Ryan Mesh cut into the advantage on a layup, to make the score 38-30 in favor of McM at the break.
In the second half, the Jets quickly erased the eight-point deficit, as Darrell Traylor knocked down three, three-point baskets to open the frame, which left McM hanging to a one-point lead, 40-39, at the 17:39 mark.
The War Hawks would work hard to try to keep the Jets at bay, taking a five-point lead, twice, before Newman was able to capture a one-point advantage, 49-48, on a jumper by Elhad Emerllahu. McMurry would quickly take the lead right back on AJ Peralta's first three-point basket of the season and would extend the lead to six halfway through the second half, 58-52.
The Jets would once again whittle away at the War Hawks' lead and would re-take the game themselves on two free-throws by Frankie Dayton. Newman would then push its lead to four, 70-66 with just 1:35 to play.
After two Jackson free-throws cut the lead to two points, the War Hawks were able to get a big defensive stop which allowed Jackson to return to the line for two more free-throw attempts with 40 seconds remaining.
Jackson was unable to hit the free-throws, but great hustle by Peralta allowed the War Hawks to maintain possession and take a timeout with 37 seconds to play.
Out of the timeout Jackson would have another chance to tie the ball game, but came up short again, but the War Hawks were again saved by an offensive rebound, this time by Thomas Brandsma, with just 21 seconds remaining. With time running out, Stennis drove the lane and scored with just seven seconds to play to tie the game at 70-70, and appear to send the game into overtime.
However, with seven seconds remaining, Newman had one final chance, which it took advantage of. Having to go the full length of the floor, NU managed to get off a contested jumper by Marquis Cuyler which rimmed out, but a well-timed tip in by Traylor with just .4 seconds on the clock gave the Jets the 72-70 lead and victory.
Offensively for the War Hawks, Alfred Perez led the team in scoring for the third-straight game, totaling a career-high, 20 points in the game. He also collected 11 boards to register his third double double of the season. Jackson finished with 17 points, while Peralta added 10 and Stennis pitched in with eight, to go along with four assists.
McMurry will be back in action for its final home contest of the season on Saturday, as it hosts the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. The contest is scheduled to follow the women's game, which begins at 2 p.m.
Information for this story provided by McMurry Sports Information.
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