Lions defeat Louisiana Tech in OT

Senior guard/forward DeShawn Patterson loves hearing his name called when the game is on the line. When he toed the free throw line with six-tenths of a second left in the game, the Lions down by one point, Patterson stepped up and drained one of his two free throws to send the game into overtime.

“You practice that in your backyard,” said Patterson.  “I love pressure moments. That’s what you play for, those types of moments.

In order to get to that point, the Lions had to battle the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, a team they had not beaten since 1966.

The Lions came out firing in the first half, and with a three point shot drained by sophomore guard Jeremy Campbell, extended their lead to 16-6 with 16:01 left in the first half. The Bulldogs battled back to a 30-25 score with a free throw shot by guard Cordarius Johnson with one second left in the half.

The second half started much like the first for the Lions. With 13:23 left in the half, a layup by Patterson stretched the Lions lead to 15 with a score of 45-30.

Then the Bulldogs made a run of their own.  Behind forward JL Lewis and guard Kenyon McNeail, the Bulldogs pulled ahead to a 59-58 in the waning seconds of the game.

With two seconds left in the game, Patterson missed a jumper, but junior forward Roosevelt “Ro” Johnson quickly crashed the boards for the rebound.  While Johnson went up for the rebound, he was fouled by Bulldog guard Kenneth Smith, and subsequently left the court limping after the collision. Per NCAA rules, the opposing coach has the opportunity to pick the replacement shooter in the case of an injury to the original shooter. Bulldogs head coach Michael White selected Patterson, who was 0-4 on his free throw attempts for the night.

Patterson drained the first attempt, before missing the second one.

“I think I got too relaxed on the second one, but I knew I was going to hit the first one,” said Patterson.

As the game went into overtime, Patterson and senior guard Brandon Fortenberry took matters into their own hands, wrapping up the game with a win, 72-69.

“We started attacking their press more,” said Patterson. “We had been shying away from attacking them. We were happy just breaking it, but in overtime we all for attacking the press hard.”

Fortenberry, Patterson and Johnson combined for 48 of the team’s 72 points. Fortenberry is second in the Southland Conference, averaging 18.2 points per game.

“We had very good individual play from Brandon Fortenberry,” said head coach Jim Yarbrough. “He’s an awfully good player.”

The Lions step back on to their home court Tuesday, Jan. 10, against the Champion Baptist Tigers.