PIPPA PASSES, Ky.Andrew Shull drained a turnaround jumper in traffic as time expired, lifting the University of Rio Grande to a 97-96 triple-overtime victory over Alice Lloyd College, Wednesday night, at the Perry Campus Center.
The RedStorm improved to 7-6 with a second straight win.
Alice Lloyd dropped to 7-2 with the loss.
It’s unclear as to how long it’s been since a Rio Grande team played in a triple overtime game. Athletic department records, which are incomplete, don’t show a triple overtime contest dating back as far as the 1980-81 season.
Wednesday’s marathon see-saw affair featured a staggering 14 ties and 15 lead changes. The RedStorm never led by more than four points at any stage of the game, while the Eagles’ biggest lead of the night – 10 points – came inside the game’s opening three minutes.
Rio Grande twice led by three points in the third extra session, including 95-92 after a bucket by Shull – a freshman from Milton, West Virginia – with 1:22 remaining, but a layup by ALC’s Bryce Slone with 55 seconds left and basket by Damon Tobler with just nine seconds left put the hosts in front, 96-95.
Tobler actually had a chance to extend the lead by one point, but failed to complete the conventional three-point play at the foul line and Rio freshman Leo Lin (Taipei, Taiwan) came away with the rebound.
Shull collected Lin’s outlet pass and raced up the floor where, just to the right of the lane, he ran into a trio of Eagle defenders. He backed up a half-step, turned and lofted a high-arcing jumper over a sea of outstretched arms and the ball nestled into the net as the final horn sounded.
Rio Grande forced the game into overtime when sophomore Miki Tadic (Hilversum, The Netherlands) nailed a pair of free throws with 5.4 seconds left in regulation to knot the score at 74-all.
The RedStorm scored the first four points of the first overtime before ALC stormed back with six straight points of their own to take an 80-78 advantage after a jumper in the lane by Tobler with 56 seconds left.
Tadic connected on a short jumper in the paint just 17 seconds later to tie the game at 80-80 and the Eagles misfired on a pair of jumpers in the final 10 seconds to send the contest to overtime No. 2.
Rio grabbed an 86-83 edge on a bucket by sophomore Shiloah Blevins (South Webster, OH) with 3:25 left to play, but another score by Tobler with 2:46 remaining forged an 86-all deadlock and neither team scored for the remainder of the overtime.
Alice Lloyd did have another chance to win at the end of the second extra period, but Chandler Stewart’s jumper as time expired was off the mark.
Tadic scored a game- and career-high 34 points to lead Rio Grande, despite fouling out with 1:35 left in the second overtime. Blevins finished with a career-high 27 points to go along with a team-best 10 rebounds and two blocked shots, while Shull tallied 18 points and handed out a game-high six assists.
The RedStorm shot just 29.6 percent from three-point range (8-for-27) and were outrebounded 51-37, but shot 46.8 percent overall (37-for-79) and finished 15-for-17 at the foul line (88.2%)
Rio Grande also had just 12 turnovers.
Noah Young led four double-digit scorers for ALC with 20 points, while Slone and Stewart had 16 points apiece and Tobler finished with 15. Will Philpot added a game-high 14 rebounds and two blocks in a losing cause, while Young also totaled six assists.
The Eagles also shot 46 percent from the floor overall (37-for-80), but went just 17-for-25 at the charity stripe (68.0%).
Rio Grande is slated to return to action on Saturday afternoon when it hosts Ohio Christian University at the Newt Oliver Arena. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.