January 28, 2016

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Devontavius Payne pumped his fist with joy and some fans were spilling onto the floor in ecstasy as the sophomore guard for John A. Logan College hit what looked to be the game-tying shot with four seconds to play in overtime against Southwestern Illinois. A foul was also called on the play and the thinking was that the Vols might take the lead on a conventional three-point play.

But one of the three game officials ruled a charge on the play and wiped out the game-tying shot. The Blue Storm then sealed the deal as Bo Burkhart notched two free throws with two seconds to play to give SWIC a hard-fought 104-100 road victory. It was Logan’s first home loss of the season.

“We kind of had one ripped from us there,” said Vols head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “It wasn’t a charge. I know it’s a tough situation for the referee to be in, but I’m never going to agree with him on that one. Still, we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that situation. We missed some free throws down the stretch and some other scoring opportunities, as well. It shouldn’t have ever gone to overtime.”

Logan led by as many as 14 points in the first half before the Blue Storm rallied to cut the deficit to six by halftime at 48-42.

SWIC forced itself into the lead early in the second half and the lead then see-sawed the rest of the way.

The game went to overtime when SWIC’s DeAntae McMurray, who scored what may be an opponent’s record 47 points on the night, answered a basket by Payne by racing downcourt and scoring with three seconds left to make the score 85-85.

Amazingly, McMurray was averaging 9.7 points a game on the season.

Logan was paced in scoring by freshman Michael Tucker’s 23 points. Payne finished with 19. Tamas Bruce tallied 17. Justin Lukens and Jalen Perry netted 15 each.

In the extra session, the Vols never led by more than two points, and then after falling behind by six at 98-92, put together their own rally. Payne drained a triple with 42 seconds left. Lukens, who may have played his best game as a Vol, knocked down his fourth trey of the night in seven attempts to pull the home team within two at 100-98. That set the stage for the controversial call at the finish line.

With the loss, the nation’s ninth-ranked Vols fall to 9-2 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 18-3 overall. SWIC improves to 8-3 in the league and 16-4 overall, including 11 in a row.

Logan plays at 3 p.m. Saturday at Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg.