• Dennis McCaslin

UAFS scores five point victory over Wisconsin-Parkdale in Holiday Classic

UAFS used some last-minute heroics to erase a double-digit, second-half deficit and beat the Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers 72-67 on Wednesday night in the final game of the Coca-Cola UAFS Holiday Classic at the Stubblefield Center. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Lions (5-8), who improved to 3-5 at the Stubblefield Center this season. It was the final game of the two-day, four-team classic, which also featured Rogers State and Cameron. UAFS finished 1-1 after losing its opening game to Cameron on Tuesday night. It also was the final game of the first semester for the Lions. UAFS will resume play on Monday, Jan. 7, when it hosts the Randall Saints at 7 p.m. at the Stubblefield Center. The Lions trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half before making their game-breaking run in the final four minutes of the game. A layup by freshman guard Matiss Sivins with 24 seconds left go the Lions within one point (67-66), and UAFS got the break it needed when Parkside sophomore guard Ramar Evans missed the front-end of a one-and-one free three opportunity. Sivins grabbed the rebound, and senior guard Chris Crawford scored on a layup with nine seconds left to give UAFS a 68-67 lead. The Rangers turned the ball over on the inbounds pass, and while game officials were reviewing the replay monitor to determine the correct amount of time there should be on the clock, Rangers coach Luke Reigel was assessed a technical foul. Lions junior guard Tyler Williams sank both free throws with six seconds left, and on the ensuing possession, Crawford scored on a layup off a pass from Sivins to push the Lions' lead to five points with four seconds left. A desperation 3-point shot attempt by Rangers senior guard Adam Bonk with one second left was off the mark. UAFS shot 42 percent from the field (28 of 66) – it was 8-of-23 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 73 percent from the free-throw line. Crawford scored a career-high 27 points, while junior guard Kei'shon Parker had 13 points and Sivins had 11 points. Junior forward Matt Morgan had a team-high seven rebounds, but the Lions were out-rebounded by seven rebounds (36-29). Parkside lost despite shooting 53 percent from the field (26 of 49) – it was 9-of-17 shooting from 3-point range – and shot only 50 percent from the free-throw line (6 of 12). Bonk scored a team-high 20 points, draining 6 of 8 3-pointers. Freshman center Joey St. Pierre had 18 points, while Evans had 11 points. St. Pierre just missed a double-double, finishing with a team-high eight rebounds, and had four of the Rangers' six blocked shots. Parkside committed 19 turnovers that UAFS turned into 27 points. Crawford had four of the Lions' 11 steals. MEN COCA-COLA UAFS HOLIDAY CLASSIC UAFS 72, WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE 67 Wisconsin-Parkside 40 27 -- 67 UAFS 34 38 -- 72 Wisconsin-Parkside (3-6): Bonk 20, St. Pierre 18, Evans 11, Flanigan 8, Hau 4, Owens 2, Barclay 2, Keckeisen 2

UAFS (5-8): Crawford 27, Parker 13, Sivins 11, Williams 9, Ekezie 3, Morgan 2, Ward 2, Boyer 2, Warren 2, Hawley 1