Beloit, WI -- The Beloit College Men's Basketball team has dropped three games this season on last possession shots by their opponents. Tuesday night's physical battle with Carroll University, one of those last-possession winners, looked to be heading in the same direction.
But the Buccaneers came up with several key plays in the final minute and were rewarded with a 54-51 win in Flood Arena.
In a tightly contested first half, Carroll seemingly took control with a 14-5 run that gave them a 22-13 lead with 5:33 left. But the Bucs closed the half with a 9-3 run to trail 26-22 at the break.
The second half was even tighter, with five ties and the largest lead six points by the Pioneers at the 14:07 mark. After Beloit rallied with an 18-7 run that put them up five at the 7:42 mark, CU came back and the game went back and forth in the final three minutes. The Bucs took the lead for good with 28 seconds remaining on a layin by Alex Hade and then got a big steal by Seth Sanderson, a key offensive rebound by Steve McAfee, and a pair of McAfee free throws all in the final five seconds to secure the victory. Carroll's last-second three-pointer was short.
Beloit shot 52.6% (20-38) for the game, including 57.9% in the second half. They also hit six three-pointers and had the edge in rebounds 25-22. Carroll shot 40% (16-40) for the game.
McAfee led the way with 16 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds while Rudy Bentley had 10 points and five assists. Jacob Manthe added a career-high nine points.
The Buccaneers have some time to relish the win before getting back to work. Their next game is at Illinois College next Wednesday, with tipoff at 7:30 p.m.