ODESSA, Texas - The McMurry men's basketball team won its second consecutive road contest as it defeated the University of Texas – Permian Basin, 80-74, in overtime on Saturday afternoon.
Alfred Perez led the way for McM for the second consecutive game, scoring 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
The Falcons, who excel on their home floor, got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 16-9 lead on a layup by Xavier Martin with 13:20 to play in the first half. The War Hawks fought back quickly, going on an 8-1 run over the next 4 minutes, which included a three-point basket by Chris Campbell. The two teams saw the first tie of the game at 17-17 on a free throw by Antonio Bell with 9:27 remaining.
Neither team could gain the upper hand over the final nine minutes of the first half, as the lead changed hands seven times with the largest lead being three points. With the score tied at 34-34, UTPB's Anthony Dees hit a three-point shot as time expired to give the Falcons the 37-34 advantage going into the half.
In the second half, the War Hawks fought hard to take the lead back, and it came in the form of a three-point play by Takoby Jackson at the 14:24 mark to give McM the two point lead, 46-44. McMurry would then run the lead out to its largest advantage of regulation, 53-48, on two free-throws by Connor Robinson with 11:47 left.
Just when the War Hawks thought they had the advantage, UTPB made a quick, 6-0 run, capped by a Madison Turner lay-up, to take the lead back, 54-53, with 9:55 to play.
With the contest tied for the eighth time, 58-58, a Jackson jumper with 6:04 remaining gave the War Hawks the 60-58 advatnage. That lead was quickly erased by the Falcons who used a three-pointer by Dominque Brooks and a free-throw by Fabian Sebastian to regain the lead by a bucket, 62-60, with 3:03 remaining.
Perez then put the team on his shoulders and turned the tables once again, scoring five-straight points to put the War Hawks back up by three, 65-62, with 1:56 remaining.
Just 30 seconds later, UTPB responded with another big three, this time by Madison Turner, to tie the game once again, 65-65. With the game tied for the 11th time, 67-67, the Falcons had the ball with a chance to end the game in regulation. Xavier Martin pulled up for a three with four seconds left, but was denied by Stennis as time expired, and the game went to overtime tied at 67.
Jackson opened the overtime frame by hitting a three-point shot, which would give the War Hawks the lead for the final time, 70-67. The War Hawks would run the lead up to seven points, 74-67, before the Falcons stormed back with six unanswered to cut the game to a single-point, 74-73, with 1:15 left.
However, the War Hawks would outscore the Falcons, 6-1 over the final minute, as a jumper by Jackson and free throws by Chris Campbell and Stennis sealed the game, 80-74, marking McM's second-consecutive road victory.
In the contest, Perez led the way with 16 points and six rebounds. He shot 6-of-7 from the field and was 4-of-5 from the charity stripe as well. Jackson finished the day with 16 points as well, while Stennis scored in double figures for his second consecutive game, with 12 points. Antonio Bell added nine points off the bench, while AJ Peralta pitched in with eight.
As a team, the War Hawks shot a blistering, 55 percent for the game and 82 percent from the free-throw line, including a perfect, 8-for-8, from the line in overtime.
The War Hawks won the points in the paint battle as well, outscoring the Falcons 34-26 in that area. The team also forced 20 UTPB miscues, which led to 30 points.
The War Hawks will be back in action on Thursday, February 28, when they will begin their final home stand of the season, playing host to the Jets of Newman University. The contest is scheduled to follow the women's game, which begins at 5:30 p.m.
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.