November 12, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

POPLAR BLUFF, MO. – The John A. Logan College men's basketball team suffered its first defeat of the new season Tuesday, falling at Three Rivers, Mo., 101-97.

The Vols (4-1) led the first seven minutes of the game, but eventually trailed 41-37 at the half. Logan briefly took as many as three one-point leads early in the second half at 47-46 on an A.J. Riley lay-in basket; 50-49 on a 3-point play by Jordan Martin; and 52-51 on a shot off the glass from Connor Wheeler before the Raiders went on an offensive tear.

Buoyed by 74 percent field goal shooting in the second half (23-of-31), Three Rivers (6-0) led by as many as 19 points at 94-75.

The Vols refused to give up, going on an 18-1 run, thanks in large part to the fine outside shooting of Martavian Payne, to pull within two at 95-93 with 35 seconds left.

The Raiders proceeded to score on a long inbounds pass to move the advantage back to four and held on for the win.

Payne poured in 26 points to pace Logan. He finished with five 3-pointers.

Riley followed with 15. Lamont Walker contribted 13. Jordan Martin banged in 12. Devontavius Payne added 10. Russell Woods had nine.

Vols head coach Kyle Smithpeters was disappointed with the end result, but liked the fight his team demonstrated down the stretch.

"The five kids we had on the floor at the end of the game played the game the way it's supposed to be played," he said. "We were down 12 or 14 with two minutes to go and those kids gave us a chance. They played hard and well."

Logan made good on 33-of-69 shots from the field or 47 percent and a subpar 21-of-40 free throws for 52 percent.

Smithpeters said a failure to make a handful of close-range shots, combined with missed charity tosses, particularly in the first half, made a big difference in the outcome.
“I thought we were also too concerned with the officiating. We just needed to play the game hard and let those other things take care of themselves.”

Logan plays at 4 p.m. Friday at Vincennes against Kankakee and follows up with a 4 p.m. game Saturday against St. Clair, Mich., also at Vincennes.