Cougar Basketball Game Recap
Cougars Fall 90-85 in Triple Overtime at
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MARION, Ind. (1-28-2012) - In a game that
saw 14 ties, 15 lead changes, 58 fouls, and
six players foul out, the Mount Vernon
Nazarene University men's basketball team
came up just short as the Cougars fell 90-85
in triple overtime at Indiana Wesleyan
University in Mid-Central College Conference
action in Luckey Arena on Saturday
The host Wildcats (15-9,
7-5 MCC), who received votes in the latest
NAIA Division II poll and were the No. 1
team in the country earlier this year,
jumped out to a 10-4 lead after the first
five minutes of action.
MVNU (9-15, 3-9 MCC) answered with a 13-1
run of its own to go in front 17-11 by the
12:43 mark as sophomore wing Austin Semple
(left) led the
surge with eight points including a pair of
Indiana Wesleyan reeled
off 10 straight points in the back-and-forth
action to go up 21-17 with 8:04 left in the
half, but the Cougars closed the half on an
11-2 run to take a 28-23 lead to the locker
room at the break.
Semple led the
Cougars with 12 first-half points, while
senior guard Robbie Taylor added seven
points. MVNU shot 34.6 percent from the
field (27-for-67), 28.6 percent from 3-point
range (2-for-7), and 88.9 percent from the
free throw line (8-for-9).
Wildcats were led by George Jones IV with
eight first-half points. Indiana Wesleyan
shot 31.8 percent from the field (7-for-22),
28.6 percent from 3-point range (2-for-7),
and just 43.8 percent from the free throw
The Cougars lead
grew to as much as 10 points twice early in
the second half as junior guard Ben Severns
and sophomore wing Matt Anglea scored five
and four points respectively to put MVNU on
top the second time 39-29 at the 15:23 mark.
With the Cougars leading 46-39 with
10:49 to go, the Wildcats used a 15-4 spurt
to go back in front 54-50 with 5:11 to play.
It was during this span that MVNU saw post
players junior Zach Zeltman and senior Danil
Zakhlebnyy both foul out with senior Josh
Weikert soon to follow. This lack of depth
on the interior was further compounded by
the fact that sophomore starting post Caleb
Williams missed the game with an injured
Despite being short-handed, the
Cougars continued to battle and regained the
lead briefly at 55-54 on a basket by Anglea
with 4:00 remaining in regulation.
With Indiana Wesleyan leading 60-56 with
2:34 to go, MVNU again rallied to knot the
score at 60-60 as Taylor hit four straight
free throws. From that point on, the two
teams traded points the rest of regulation
with Taylor's driving layup with less than
three seconds to go sending the game to
overtime knotted at 64-64 after a
desperation 3-point attempt by the Wildcats
at the buzzer was off the mark.
the first overtime, the Cougars built a
73-69 lead with 1:44 to go as Semple scored
six points and Severns drained a 3-pointer.
However, Indiana Wesleyan battled back to
take a 74-73 lead before Anglea put MVNU
back on top 75-74 with eight seconds to go.
Patrick Hopkins was fouled on the
Wildcats' ensuing possession, but he only
managed to hit the second of two free throw
attempts to knot the score at 75-75 with 5.9
seconds to go, and Semple's 3-point attempt
with one second left was no good as the game
headed into the second overtime period.
Semple got the Cougars off to a good
start in the second overtime as he converted
a three-point play opportunity to put MVNU
up 78-75 with just 27 seconds gone by.
However, seconds later, he picked up his
fifth foul and his career night was over
with a game-high 30 points to his credit.
Indiana Wesleyan scored the next five
points to go on top 80-78 with 40 seconds
left, but Taylor calmly hit a pair of free
throws with 0.9 seconds still on the clock
to send the game to a third overtime tied at
Down to just six players
remaining and with two of them having four
fouls each, the Cougars fell behind 86-80 in
the first 65 seconds of the third overtime.
MVNU was twice able to pull within two
points and had possession of the ball with a
chance to tie the score or take the lead,
but a 3-pointer by Derrick Troyer with 16
seconds to go was the clincher for the
Wildcats as they prevailed 90-85 in the
hard-fought game by both teams.
Semple's 30 points saw came from a 10-for-19
shooting effort from the field and an
8-for-9 showing at the free throw line as he
also nailed a pair of 3-pointers, grabbed
six rebounds, and dished out three assists
in 43 minutes of action. Taylor played all
but seven seconds of the possible 55 minutes
and finished with 19 points, five rebounds,
and three assists, and Severns pumped in 16
points off the bench in 49 minutes of
action. Anglea also tossed in 12 points and
grabbed six rebounds. MVNU shot 40.3 percent
from the field (27-for-67), 23.8 percent
from 3-point range (5-for-21), and 76.5
percent from the free throw line
(26-for-34). The Cougars committed just five
turnovers in the final 36 minutes of action.
The game was the third-longest in school
history trailing just the five-overtime game
at Davis & Elkins (W.Va.) College in 1978
and the four-overtime game at Cedarville
University in 1984.
led Indiana Wesleyan with 25 points, while
Hopkins posted a double-double with 22
points and 12 rebounds. Jones IV also added
11 points and eight rebounds, and Zac
Vandewater contributed 10 points off the
bench. The Wildcats shot 48.3 percent from
the field (29-for-60), 23.5 percent from
3-point range (4-for-17), and 58.3 percent
from the free throw line (28-for-48).
"Tonight, we found out that we have what
it takes in the big moments to answer the
bell," said MVNU coach Matt Moore. "We
simply ran out of time. The hard part is we
left a handful of possessions out there that
make the difference between the result being
a W or an L. I'm very proud of our
willingness to compete at this stage in the
season with the circumstances (the loss of
Caleb) continuing to limit us. We will be
better because we tasted opportunity."
"We may not have earned the victory, but
we have what it takes to take someone's best
shot and stand our ground," Moore added.
The Cougars will return to action on
Tuesday when MVNU will host Bethel (Ind.)
College in another MCC contest that will tip
off at 6 p.m.