The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

January 23, 2014

Saints stout at home

(Continued)

After Harris gave Ashford the lead, Overton made sure the Saints kept it.

He made a pair of free throws after the Blue Devils cut the gap to 51-50. He drove the lane twice for layups that turned two-point leads to four. And he made six free throws and one more basket over the final 1:53 to preserve the lead.

“(Drake) knows I’m a little crafty and can get down the lane and get to the line,” Overton said.

“D.O. was 14-of-15 from the free-throw line,” Drake said. “We think free throws are all toughness, and D.O. stepped up there in really crucial situations and consistently knocked down shots. He’s a pretty slippery guy to guard. He’s hard to guard and can get into gaps, and I thought he was phenomenal tonight.”

The Blue Devils (9-8) refused to go down easily, though, and still had a chance to force overtime before Oman’s late layup attempt wouldn’t fall and Harris grabbed the rebound after it was tipped around several times.

“That was huge for us,” said Harris, who also made two hustle plays in the second half, knocking the ball out of bounds off a Stout player. “If I don’t get that rebound we could lose the game. That’s what I was thinking. If I don’t grab it and keep them from tipping it, if I don’t grab it we could lose or go to overtime.”

The second half was quite a contrast from the first, which ended with the teams tied at 26. Stout shot 55.6 percent from the field (15-for-27) in the second half, while Ashford made 12 of 23 shots from the field (52.2 percent) after intermission.

“I think both teams settled in there a little bit in the second half,” Drake said. “Both teams are pretty good defensively ... so we thought it would be a little bit of a grinder.

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