Late rally sparks Neosho men past Red Devils



February 12, 2015 - 12:00 AM

With the biggest crowd at hand for a mens basketball game this season, Allen Community College lost to Neosho 107-88 on Wednesday night. Thanks to a huge Panthers run in the last 10 minutes of the game, Neosho was able to pull away.
The Red Devils had their hands full, trying to guard 7-0 Joseph Acuil, a Baylor commit. But, in the first half, ACC was able to keep him at bay offensively. The big man had several blocks on defense though.
“At halftime he had seven points and was 2-4 shooting, so we did a good job at limiting his touches,” said ACC coach Andy Shaw. “But, he was able to get away from us a little  bit in the second half and got some easy baskets. We just allowed them to throw it to him in the post way too easy and No. 21 (Freddie McSwain) got loose for some dunks. It was a really good game for the first 30 minutes.”
Acuil nailed a 3-pointer in the first minutes of the game. Allen’s Darnell Jones-Bowie then scored driving down the lane. Allen trailed 6-2 with 17:30 left in the first half.
ACC’s Courtney Stockard tied the game at 6-6 with 16:10 left. The Red Devils didn’t get a lead for the rest of the first half, but kept the game within single digits.
Jermaine Long hit a 3-pointer later in the half to bring Allen to within three-points at 22-19 in favor of Neosho. Later, Josh Sweet drove through the lane, getting a nice acrobatic layup to fall past Acuil’s swatting limbs. Allen trailed 31-26.
After drawing a foul, Stockard hit the front end of his free throws, but missed the second attempt. Fortunately, ACC’s Jameel Henson was there for the rebound and basket. ACC trailed 37-31 with 2:10 left in the half. Allen headed into halftime losing 43-37.
 “It was back and forth. They’d take the lead and we’d make a little comeback and cut it to one or two points. In the last 10 minutes, (Neosho) was rolling,” Shaw said. “They made shots and converted at the rim. We missed shots over the last 10 minutes. That’s where Neosho pulled away from us and got the victory.”
With 17:55 left in the second half, Allen was well within the grasp of taking the lead. Stockard drove to the basket and the score was 47-44 Neosho. After giving up a basket, Sweet answered with a transition layup and drew the foul. After converting on the free throw, Allen was down 49-47 with 17 minutes left.
But, ACC couldn’t tie the game.
Jordan Nanton hit a 3-pointer, Allen was still down 52-50.
Nanton was fouled shooting another 3-pointer later in the half. He hit all three free throws. Allen was still down 63-62.
Sweet hit a 3-pointer, Allen was still down 67-65.
That was ACC’s last chance. From then on the Panthers extended their lead with transition points — from empathic dunks — and three pointers. Allen did its best to stay in the game, but couldn’t get shots to fall like they did earlier in the half.
Suddenly, the game was out of reach and Neosho won 107-88.
Allen (13-12, 5-2 in conference) will have a big road contest against Cowley on Saturday.
“We’re on a three-game losing streak, but that doesn’t count for our conference or region record, just overall record,” Shaw said. “Cowley has lost its last two, so we’re going to have to fight back and get a big win on the road. It’s a big conference game and a big region game. If we win that we put ourselves in a good spot.”

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