Clark Tallies First Career Double-Double but Men's Basketball's Comeback Bid Falls Just Short
January 29, 2014
Bluefield, WV - The Pfeiffer men's basketball team (4-15) roared back from a 23 point deficit to force overtime, but the Falcons fell to Bluefield St. by a final score of 120-114 on Wednesday evening. Sophomore guard AJ Clark scored 32 points and dished out 12 assists to record his first career double-double. Fellow sophomore David McNair added a double-double of his own with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while adding four assists and two steals.
Each member of the starting five for Bluefield St. scored in double figures, led by 36 points from Shakir Dunning. Dunning went 10-for-17 from the field, 11-of-14 from the free throw line, and connected on five three pointers in the victory. Treon Claiborn had 21 points and ten assists for the Big Blue.
Dunning hit a three pointer with 15:53 to play in the game that gave Bluefield St. a commanding 70-47 lead. Instead of packing it in, the Falcons clawed back into the game. A dunk by center Silvere Aluko capped a 13-4 run that cut the Big Blue's lead to 74-60. Bluefield St. extended the lead back to 18, but Pfeiffer answered with a 28-14 spurt to tie the game at 88. Clark carried the load in the comeback, scoring 15 points over a 6:13 span and his free throws evened the score. The comeback seemed to be halted as the Big Blue regained a six point lead with 18 seconds to go, but Pfeiffer had more fight left. Connor Dahn and Matt Ellwood connected on back-to-back three pointers and Bluefield St. missed two crucial free throws in the late moments. Pfeiffer was down two with eight seconds to play when Joe Ledbetter rebounded Clark's missed jumper and finished in the lane with five seconds that sent the game into overtime.
Pfeiffer held the lead on three occasions in the extra period but had four turnovers and shot only 2-for-7 from the field. Dunning scored seven of his team's 12 overtime points and carried his team to victory.
Andrew Guerrero also had a tremendous performance for Pfeiffer, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the second half. Freshman Connor Dahn broke his career high of 17 points, which he set in Pfeiffer's last game, with an 18-point performance.
The Falcons were without leading scorer, Mike Smith, who missed his first game of the season.
Led by McNair's 13 boards, Pfeiffer dominated the glass and held a 46-25 advantage on the boards. The Falcons shot 53.9 percent from the field and connected on seven three pointers, but were undone by 26 turnovers.
Bluefield St. shot 51.4 percent from the field and made 80.5 percent of their free throws on the night.
Pfeiffer returns to Conference Carolinas action on Saturday evening when they host Lees-McRae at 7:30 p.m. The game will be a rematch of the Jan. 11 matchup where Pfeiffer beat the Bobcats 106-99 in overtime.