Red Haws lose home opener in final seconds of overtime
Simpson University Sports News
REDDING, Calif. - It was the home opener for the Simpson University men's basketball team on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and they hosted the Beacons from Northwest Christian University. The Beacons came away with the 65-62 victory, which was hard for the Red Hawks to swallow.
In the first half, the game remained close, as neither team held a lead larger than four points. The teams were tied at 24 with 6:49 to play in the half. Northwest Christian guard Trevor Parker gave the lead to the Beacons, before Shaquille Jones hit a three to give the Red Hawks back the lead. Daveron Ross extended the lead to five shortly after to give the Red Hawks the largest lead of the half. After the Beacons had come within two points, Guy Varsek scored with five seconds remaining in the half to send the Red Hawks into halftime with a 33-29 lead.
The Red Hawks opened the second half by continuing to build their lead, which increased to nine points with 11:53 to play in the half. Beacons senior Wyatt Taboh-Garziano didn’t let the game slip away, as his excellent rebounding and hard work kept the Beacons within touching distance. The Beacons finally tied the game at 55 with 2:36 to play and then took their first lead of the half (57-55) with 2:05 to play. Jones tied the game up again for the Red Hawks, which was Simpson’s first basket from the field since Jonnie Washburn hit a 3-pointer with 9:52 to play. The Beacons had the ball and a chance to take back the lead, but Parker missed a 3-pointer. This play set up a chance for the Red Hawks to win it at the buzzer. That chance fell to Dalton Thacker; his mid-range jump shot bounced around the rim but did not fall, sending the teams into overtime with the score tied up at 57.
Greg Shepard got the Beacons off to a good start in the overtime period, scoring on their first possession. Varsek converted a three-point play to give Simpson the lead, when he made a basket, was fouled on the play, and made the ensuing free throw. Taboh-Graziano gave the Beacons a three-point lead with six seconds remaining with a three-point play of his own. The Red Hawks couldn't get a shot off in the dying seconds and fell 65-62.
The Red Hawks were haunted by poor free throw shooting and turnovers. They shot only 46.7 percent from the charity stripe, and poor ball handling cost the Red Hawks as they turned the ball over 21 times.
Taboh-Graziano led the Beacons in the victory with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Shepard and Brody McGowan both added 13 points each to help the Beacons to the win.
The Red Hawks now fall to 1-3 on the young season and will next be in action on Friday, Nov. 9, when they travel to Arcata, Calif., to take on Humboldt State at 7:30 p.m.
Written by Dan Anderson
Contact: Derrick Pringle, Jr.