CLINTON, S.C. – Four Blue Hose scored in double-figures, including junior transfer John Majors, II, who posted 21, to lead the Presbyterian College men’s basketball team to a thrilling, 90-84, overtime win over Mars Hill in exhibition action Monday evening at the Templeton Center, in Clinton, S.C.
Ruben Arroyo scored 17, while Reggie Dillard added 12 and Ed Drew 11, as the Blue Hose survived several furious Mars Hill rallies, including the last 10 minutes of regulations that saw the Lions erase a 10-point deficit and tie the game as time expired with a three-pointer.
MHU fought back to within one several times in overtime but could not overcome solid free throw Blue Hose shooting, despite having three players with over 17 points. Patrick Monroe led with 21 off five three pointers, followed by Michael Carson and Justin Yeargin with 17 apiece.
Majors paced the team in rebounds as well with 15 for a double-double. With 13 boards, Drew posted a double-double as well as PC finished the night with 62 total rebounds. The Blue hose collected five three-pointers and were 33-of-42 from the line. PC shot 35.1 percent from the field for the game, including a 57.1 in overtime.
Marsh Hill was led by Valentine Bauer in rebounds with seven as the team recorded 50 total. The Lions were 19-of-23 from the charity stripe and hit nine threes. MHU was 35.0 percent from the field, but were just 25.0 in overtime.
PC built a 16-7 lead halfway through the first half, helped in part to solid shooting by Majors, who recorded eight points during the first 10 minutes. The Blue Hose offense stalled the next four minutes as the Lions scored the next 11 of 14 points, nine coming from three Monroe three-pointers, to storm ahead to a 27-20 lead with 6:02 on the clock.
The Blue Hose responded with eight straight to retake a one-point lead, 28-27, 3:51 to go in the first half. PC extended its lead to five, 36-31, with 1:14 left, but surrendered two free throws with just under a minute on the clock to head to the locker room with the slim 36-33 margin.
MHU kept the game close early in the second half, trailing but just six on two occasions and even cutting the margin to two at the 13:04 mark off a layup by Witherspoon.
Helped by six straight points from Austin Venables and a three-pointer by Jaron Withers, PC built its biggest lead of the game at 11, 55-44, with 9:37 to go. The Blue Hose hovered at the 10-point margin for the next three minutes but an 8-0 run the next two minutes by Mars Hill made it a two point contest again at 63-61, 4:56 to go.
Two quick baskets by PC made it a six-point game again with just over a minute to go with Marsh Hill cutting it to one again off a Carson three-pointer and two Witherspoon free throws with 22 seconds left.
The Lions ran the ball down the court with just a few ticks and Yeargin, with his first and only three-pointer of the night, nailed a buzzer beater from the left side to tied the game and send it to overtime.
Another back and forth battle in overtime, PC took a quick five-point lead off a three-point and layup from Arroyo only to see if turn into a one-point margin, 77-76, with 3:15 off another Monroe three-pointer.
Leading by just one, 82-81, PC used a lay-up by and free throw by Majors to make in four-points again, 85-81, 1:16 left. The Blue Hose extended the lead to seven off clutch free throws and held on to the six-point, 90-84 overtime win.
PC opens the regular season at Furman, Friday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m., before staying in Clinton for the next three games. The Blue Hose host USC Upstate Nov. 16, at 7p.m., before taking on Toccoa Falls Nov. 18, at 7:30p.m., and The Citadel Nov. 21, at 7 p.m.