Lions beat Maryville by buzzer beater [VIDEO]

Lions beat Maryville by buzzer beater [VIDEO]

Staff Writer

The Piedmont College men’s and women’s basketball teams faced the visiting Scotts of Maryville College on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., in Cave Arena.  

The men’s team walked away with a win in the last seconds of the game with a buzzer beater by second-year guard Trae Gaines. However, the women’s team was not as lucky, losing 71-58. 

The men’s team got started by leading offensively, with Chris Meeks making the first point for the team.  The Lions and the Scotts went back and forth, one scoring after the other. By the end of the first half, the Lions were winning by four points.

Justin Vallejo, a first-year forward, came back into the second half of the game scoring for the Lions by making a free throw. Vallejo said he wanted to win this game because it’s an important game, and they are one of the top teams. 

With about one minute left in the second half, the teams were close. Piedmont was behind by one point, 57-56.  

Second-year forward Chase England made a layup, and the Lions were able to take the lead. Following England’s shot, Meeks tipped in the missed layup by second-year guard Peyton Luken, making the score 60-59. The Scotts scored with two seconds left, putting them up by one point. 

Gaines moved the basketball down and shot from half court with milliseconds left on the clock. The basketball swished through the net, and this buzzer beater landed Piedmont on ESPN in the days following the game.

Gaines said, “It wasn’t a good game personally for me, but the shot at the end was a dream come true—a shot that basketball players dream about—winning a game at the buzzer.” 

The Piedmont Lions fought for the amazing win against the Scotts, winning by two points. This 63-61 win helped the Lions, making them now 9-9 overall and 4-4 in the conference. 

First-year forward Landry Assinesi said: “We really played well as a team. It was an exciting game, and we all were just trying to have fun while playing because that makes all the difference. The game was won by our drive to not give up.” 

The woman’s basketball team took on Maryville College that same afternoon. The game started with the Scotts scoring. Third-year guard Lashanda Jones scored the first basket for the Lady Lions. 

The teams battled neck and neck, making the game extremely exciting for the crowd. At half time, Piedmont was losing by seven points, 39-32. 

But during the second-half, the Lady Lions struggled to gain a lead over the Scotts. Third-year guard/ post Mary Kate Rushton was able to tie up the game, but when the final buzzer sounded, the Lady Lions left the court disappointed.

Jones said: “The game against Maryville was just an obstacle that our team has to put behind us. All we can do is learn from our mistakes and come together as a team to make sure we get them next time we face them. We have a lot of big games coming up, and it would be great to win these last games leading to conference. But as a team, we have to work together to make each other better to overcome all competition.” 

Rushton lead her team with the most points. Coming in close behind Rushton offensively was Jones, racking up some points for her team.  

Despite Rushton and Jones leading this game, the players all worked well together as a team that night, according to Rushton and Jones. They connected passes to finish their set plays, but in the end, they could not get the win.

Rushton agreed with Jones about being upset about the lost over the Scotts. Rushton said: “I think we lost because we were tied near the end of the game. Then, we let Maryville go on a 13-0 run, and we didn’t score when we needed to. I think we are great at handling adversity, so we just have to move on to the next game and work on finishing the game without any letups and get defensive stops.”

The final score of the game was 71-58. This pushed their overall record to 15-3 and their conference record to 8-2.

The next time the Piedmont College basketball teams hit Cave Arena’s hardwoods will be on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, where the teams will be going up against the Lagrange Panthers for the second time this season. The men are to play at 2 p.m., and the women follow them at 4 p.m.