ATLANTA, Ga. – Saint Augustine’s University scored a tough 86-84 men’s basketball road victory over Carver College on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, by staying poised.
The Falcons (5-2 overall) trailed 77-70 with just under five minutes left but finished with a 16-7 run for their second consecutive win. It was the first road victory on an opponent’s court for the Falcons this season. On Nov. 24, the Falcons let an 11-point lead slip away in a three-point loss to Kentucky State in their first away game.
“We handled adversity a little better this time,” St. Aug Head Coach Lonnie Blow, Jr. said. “We made more plays than [Carver] did and made less mistakes.”
No one was bigger in key moments than Percy Woods (Sr./Washington, D.C.). The 5-10 guard scored a career-high 30 points off the bench including the last 10 points for the Falcons. His jumper put the Falcons ahead 78-77 with 2:15 left, and he later drilled another jumper for an 80-79 lead.
His three-pointer with 27 seconds left gave the Falcons the lead for good at 83-81. Woods made 3 of 4 free throws to ice the game at 86-81 before Sean Stringfellow (20 points) hit a three-pointer for Carver at the buzzer for the final margin.
“Woods was clutch down the stretch,” Blow said. “He made some big shots. Most of his shots came in transition out of our defense. We went to a full-court press with about five minutes to go and got some steals.”
The fact the Falcons rallied behind a strong defensive effort should be no surprise. They entered the contest ranked fifth in Division II in field goal percentage defense (35.8). In the final five minutes, Carver was 2 for 7 from the floor and committed four turnovers.
Up until that point, Carver was clicking offensively. The home team made 52 percent of its shots in the second half and 46 percent overall. The Falcons were even hotter, shooting 59 percent overall. They shot 63 percent in the first half and 55 percent in the second half. It was the second consecutive game the Falcons made over half their shots.
Guard Joel Kindred (Jr./Raleigh, N.C.) followed Woods with 20 points. Forward Tyquan Stroman (Jr./Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), playing his second game, added 10 points.
“Joel did a really nice job,” Blow said. “He attacked the basket in transition, played defense and also had six rebounds. Tyquan is starting to get his timing down.”
Despite torrid shooting, the Falcons found themselves in a close game. The score was tied 11 times and the lead changed 10 times. Turnovers were the culprit. The Falcons lost the ball 20 times which led to 29 Carver points.
“Too many turnovers,” Blow said. “Their pressure defense made it tough on us. They took us out of what we wanted to do with their aggression. We did a better job of attacking the basket in the second half.”
The Falcons especially showed grit in the closing minutes, thanks to Woods and a trapping defense. They have three more non-league road tests in the next seven days including a matchup against Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., on Friday, Dec. 14. Game time is 7 p.m.