Lamar State College Port Arthur could not put its opponent away and Coastal Bend College slipped by, literally, for a 76-74 win over the Seahawks Wednesday night in NJCAA basketball in Beeville, Texas.
The Seahawks, after jumping out to a quick 15-2 lead at the start, led by two, 74-72, with less than a minute remaining. Jamyus Jones took a pass from teammate Darrell Jones and was headed for a putaway basket only to slip and fall as he neared the rim, turning the ball over on a traveling violation.
Coastal Bend's Lance-Amir Paul responded with a quick 3-pointer that put the Cougars ahead 75-74 with 22 seconds left. First Darrell Jones, then Jamyus Jones saw their shots roll off the rim in the final 10 seconds.
"My hat's off to Coastal Bend," LSCPA Head Coach Lance Madison said after his team slipped to 7-8 in Region 14 play, 13-13 overall. "We jumped off to a big start and they regrouped and played a good game.
"Of course, I'm a little bit disappointed. But we've got to keep moving."
After losing to the sixth-place Cougars, now 3-12 in conference and 9-16 overall, the Seahawks, second-place in Region 14's South Zone, take on first-place Angelina College, 12-2 in the league, Saturday in Lufkin.
They have an open date Feb. 19 and play at home at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 against Jacksonville College.
The Seahawk defense forced 28 turnovers, six in the first six minutes, as the team jumped out to a 15-2 lead on a 3-pointer by Darion Chatman. Six different Seahawks had scored by then.
The Cougars, who were led by 19 points from big man Elijah Moleon and 18 by Eric Conner, fought back and took a five-point lead, 29-24, on back-to-back shots from outside the bonus arc by Paul, a taste of things to come.
Coastal Bend outscored Lamar State 36-12 on 3-pointers, connecting on seven treys in the second half.
The Seahawks, with seven points by Chatman and six each from Thomas and Jamyus Jones in the first half, led 37-35 at the break.
There were seven ties and 11 lead changes in the second half as neither team led by more than five points.