GAFFNEY, S.C. - For 31 minutes, the Pfeiffer men's basketball team (4-14, 1-8 CC) had the lead or was within a couple of baskets against Limestone (12-6, 4-4). However, the Falcons got cold at the wrong time, and Limestone used an 18-0 run down the stretch to come away with a 96-79 victory. The final score was not indicative of how Pfeiffer played as the Falcons led the contest for 15:14 of game action. Mike Smith led the way for Pfeiffer, scoring 24 points and tying a career-high with four three pointers. Connor Dahn added a career-high 17 points and six rebounds. Jamal McNeill led Limestone with 22 points and Shaq Dance had 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
PJ Foster and Josh Odem each scored 19 for the Saints and Asaad Woods posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
For the game, Limestone shot 47.8 percent from the field and held a 50-41 advantage on the boards. Pfeiffer shot a season-best 92.9 percent (13-for-14) from the free throw line and hit 10 three pointers in the loss. Pfeiffer's bench outscored Limestone's reserves 46-21.
The game was back-and-forth in the early stages of the first half until Pfeiffer went on a 12-1 run to take a 31-20 lead. The Pfeiffer defense kept Limestone from scoring a field goal for over five minutes during that stretch and Matt Ellwood hit two three pointers in the spurt. Pfeiffer extended the lead to as much as 13, but Limestone answered with a 12-1 run of their own and eventually tied the game at 42. Mike Smith hit a three pointer as the buzzer sounded, to cap a 10-2 run to end the half, giving Pfeiffer the 52-44 lead. Dahn led the way with 12 first half points, including two three pointers. Smith added 11 points for the Falcons who converted on 60 percent of their three pointers in the opening frame.
Limestone started the second half on a 7-0 run and held the Falcons scoreless for the first 2:43. Limestone took the lead but Smith responded with a layup to give Pfeiffer the 62-61 edge at the 13:54 mark. McNeill answered on the other end, giving the Saints a 63-62 lead, which they wouldn't relinquish. Smith's bucket at the 9:20 mark made the score 74-72, but Limestone used an 18-0 run to run away with the win. Pfeiffer shot just 27.8 percent from the field in the second half and went 4-for-18 from long range.
Pfeiffer returns to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Bluefield St. for a 6 p.m. contest. Pfeiffer will look to avenge an 85-81 loss to Bluefield St. on Nov. 25 at Merner Gym.