MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Visiting Mars Hill College shot 50% from the field to help snap a four-game losing streak with a 76-67 victory over Pfeiffer University in non-conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night. The Lions start the new year by improving to 3-6 overall while the Falcons fall to 2-7.
Mars Hill would hold the lead for a majority of the night and fight off Pfeiffer comeback attempts en route to the nine-point win. A 9-0 run sparked the Lions early in the first half as Khouraichi Thiam (Dakar, SENEGAL) dropped in two of his 18 points on the night to start while a layup by Miles Tate (Ashburn, VA) all of a sudden put Mars Hill up 20-10 with 10:46 remaining in the half.
Pfeiffer would battle back into a two-point contest with 1:52 to play as a Kenny Tappin (Hyattsville, MD) layup and Josh Humphrey (Matthews, NC) basket helped keep the Falcons within two before the half’s final bucket went to the Lions’ Jalen Witherspoon (Monroe, NC) put the visitors up 33-29 at the break.
A pair of Witherspoon free throws would give the Lions their largest lead of the night at 12 with 15:53 on second half the clock until Pfeiffer again came roaring back to slice the deficit down to five on a Matt Ellwood (Lees Summit, MO) long distance three just 61 seconds later. A minute-and-a-half later, Mars Hill would find themselves back up a dozen thanks to a pair of Will White (Goldsboro, NC) layups and a triple by Kiko Lopez (San Juan, PUERTO RICO).
Trading baskets midway through the second half, Pfeiffer would again creep to within five on another Ellwood three with 5:09 remaining for a 60-55 contest. An old-fashioned three-point play by Thiam and layup again by White helped the Lions hold on over the final minutes for the 76-67 win.
Besides making half of their total shots from the floor, Wednesday night’s difference came from the turnover department as Mars Hill converted 16 Pfeiffer mistakes into 22 offensive points. Thiam added a monstrous 16 rebounds to go along with his team-high 18 points on the night. Humphrey would lead the Falcons with 27 on the night followed by Ellwood’s 17. Pfeiffer would shoot 40% from the field and 41% from long range in the loss.
Pfeiffer will now return to Conference Carolinas action on Saturday afternoon hosting Erskine at 4:00 p.m. Live stats and video will be available courtesy of http://www.gofalconsports.com.