PASADENA -- In its relatively short history, Lamar State College Port Arthur’s basketball team has enjoyed some memorable games against Pasadena’s San Jacinto College.
You can add Wednesday night’s to that list.
In what figures to be their final appearance in historic Anders Gym, home to four-time national JUCO basketball champions, the Seahawks went down to the final buzzer against the Ravens before losing 75-74 in NJCAA Region 14 play.
It was no fun for the LSCPA team which is 2-9 in league play, 1-7 in games decided by five points or less.
Wednesday marked back-to-back games in which the Seahawks were defeated when their final shot of the game caromed off the back rim of the goal.
Where Saturday’s game came down to a missed 3-point try at the buzzer, this one ended with freshman guard Alex Williams making the first of two free throws with 1 second left but being unable to get the second try to go down.
LSCPA connected on just 11 of 26 – 42.3 percent – from the charity stripe.
“We’ve got to get in the gym and start working on our free throws,” coach Lance Madison said. “You’ve got to be mentally tough enough to step up there and get them.”
Madison still believes in his players. He knows that despite their record – now 8-13 overall -- his squad’s playoff chances are still alive. There are nine Region 14 games remaining on the schedule and his team is only two wins out of the fourth and final South Zone berth.
The Seahawks host 4-7 Coastal Bend Saturday at 4 p.m.
Beaumont sophomore Rodney Brown led LSCPA against San Jac with 23 points scored and Silsbee soph Travious Grubbs had a double-double, with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Williams, from Houston Cypress Creek High School, finished with 15 points and Nederland sophomore Jase Miguez added 10.
Leon Sneed led San Jac with 12 points and was one of five Raven players with two 3-pointers in a 12-for-26 barrage from outside the bonus arc.
In one five-minute span of the second half, San Jac scored only on 3-pointers, six in a row that turned a 54-51 deficit into a 69-60 lead.
The Ravens hit 13 of 19 from the free-throw line.
The Seahawks trailed 41-40 at the half and ultimately matched San Jac’s 34 second-half points. But after battling back from an eight-point first half deficit, nine points with 5:35 left was one point – or free throw – too many.
San Jac is dropping men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and soccer after this school year ends, for economic reasons.
The Ravens have competed for 55 years in NJCAA hoops, making the national tournament 21 times.
“It’s historically one of the best programs in the NJCAA over the years,” Madison said. “We hate to lose what has been a great rivalry. We’ve had some good games over here and always enjoyed competing gainst them.”