The Glenville State men’s basketball team overcame a 10-point second half deficit to gain an important 80-76 victory over visiting Charleston. The Pioneers move to 14-8 on the season and now control their own destiny in their quest to host a first round WVIAC tournament game.
The first half was a grind for both teams as neither could get into any offensive rhythm. The visiting Golden Eagles took a 7-0 lead in the opening few minutes before Taron Hurst knocked down two free throws to put the Pioneers on the board nearly four minutes into the contest. The Pioneers would very methodically use a 11-5 run to knot the game at 12-12 with 7:07 remaining in the opening stanza.
Charleston would respond over the next five minutes with a 9-1 spurt to take a 21-13 lead with just under three minutes to play. Glenville State would then trim the lead to four at 26-22 as the teams headed to intermission. For the half, the Pioneers converted a lousy eight of 26 for just under 31% from the field, including a woeful one of five performance from long range. Fortunately, the Pioneer defense held the visitors to only 33% shooting from the field.
Both teams continued to battle back and forth in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, where the Pioneers would find themselves leading 45-44 with 9:58 to play. The Pioneers would push their lead to five at 49-44 before Charleston quickly knotted things back up at 49-49 with 8:21 to play.
At that time, Charleston would take over for the next five minutes of play. The Golden Eagles used a 16-6 run to take a 65-55 lead with 2:36 to play. From there, however, the Pioneers would take control.
The senior combination of Chase Groves and Anthony Kimble would score four points each, along with two game-tying free throws from sophomore Jacob Miller, to put the Pioneers in a 65-65 dead lock with 29 seconds to play. Following Miller’s free throws and a Glenville State time-out, the Pioneers Chase Groves stole the inbounds pass of Charleston’s James Eversley. The steal gave the Pioneers the opportunity to hold for the final shot. Chase Groves would eventually miss a potential game winning three-point shot at the buzzer, thus sending the game into overtime.
The Pioneers would score the first four points in the overtime period and convert four of four free throws in the final minute to pick up the 80-76 victory.
For the contest, the Pioneers rode the shoulders of two seniors in Chase Groves and Anthony Kimble. Groves tallied 27 points and added five rebounds, five steals, and three assists. Anthony Kimble collected his second consecutive double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
As a team, the Pioneers outrebounded Charleston 49-35, which included 14 offensive rebounds. The Pioneers also dominated at the free throw line as they converted 24 of 34 attempts in comparison to seven of 11 for the Golden Eagles.
“This was a big win and an important win for our team,” stated Pioneer head coach Dwaine Osborne. “We did not play very well, but I did think that we played hard, especially in the final 15 minutes or so of the game. I am really proud of the resolve we had and the character that our team displayed when we were down 10 with 2:30 to play. The guys kept fighting and found a way to make some plays at critical times.”
The Pioneers will return to action on Saturday, February 14, 2009 when they travel to Bluefield State College. Game time is set for 7:30pm.