The Southeastern Louisiana Lions got a 3-pointer from long range and one by an old-fashioned drive in overtime Saturday turn back the University of Central Arkansas Bears 65-60 in a topsy-turvy struggle at the Farris Center.
The Bears fell to 8-20, 2-12, their second 20-loss season in three years.
The score was tied six times and there were 10 lead changes.
Neither team led by more than four points in the final 14:08 of regulation, which featured an assortment of wild flurries.
Southeastern post Patrick Sullivan, who had nine points (six below his average) and 10 rebounds, worked inside for a basket to begin the overtime, Then Brandon Fortenberry hit a 3-pointer from NBA range as the Lions took a 58-55 lead in the first two minutes of overtime.
After the Bears’ Mitch Rueter altered his shot and misfired on a baseline drive, Sullivan made a shot in the lane and turned it into a 3-pointer to give the Lions (16-11, 8-6) a six-point lead with 1:27 left that they were able to preserve with free-throw shooting.
Each team had a chance to win in the final 18 seconds. Southeastern, trailing 53-52, missed a 3-pointer but won the scramble for the rebound. Fortenberry made one of two free throws with 10.6 seconds left to tie the game at 53.
UCA turned the ball over on an errant inbounds pass with 8.6 seconds left, but the Lions gave it back on a traveling violation 6 feet from the basketball. A buzzer shot by Dewan Clayborn fell awry to the left of the rim.
"We needed one stop to win the game and they got a rebound and we didn’t," UCA coach Rand Chappell said. "We made some good plays, hustle plays. Sometimes, it comes down to one play."
The Bears, who went 10:48 without a field goal the first half and still trailed only 25-24, were outscored 25-4 off turnovers, 15-0 in the first half when they had 12.
Rueter led UCA with 18 points and nine rebounds, but the most inspiring effort from the Bears probably came from substitute post Carlos Dos Santos, who had eight points and 10 rebounds in playing 38 minutes. That was mostly because starter Tadre Sheppard got in early foul trouble and fouled out with 7:10 left after only nine minutes of action.
"Sullivan is considered the best big man in the league and he has nine points and 10 rebounds and Carlos gets eight and 10, so I’d say he played him about even," Chappell said.
Jared Rehmel had 12 points and Clayborn 10 for UCA.
Fortenberry, a 6-foot-2 guard, came off the bench to lead the Lions with 17 points.