Claremore Daily Progress

January 4, 2013

SAC MEN'S BB: Wayland rallies past St. Gregory's, 72-70

SGU MEDIA RELATIONS
SGU MEDIA RELATIONS

SHAWNEE — Wayland Baptist guard Travis Payton hit the game-winning floater in the lane with six seconds remaining, securing a 72-70 win for the Pioneers over St. Gregory's Thursday night at W.P. Wood Field House. Payton's bucket came after a furious Cavalier rally in the last minute to tie the game.

Down by five with under a minute to play, SGU's Josiah Campbell hit a shot in the lane to cut it to 70-67 with 39 seconds remaining. Fayzon Richey, who came into the contest fifth in the NAIA in points per game, then stole the next WBU possession at midcourt and drove the right side for a score while drawing a foul with 18 seconds left. After the free throw, it was tied at 70, setting the stage for Payton.

Richey and freshman Tim Stromberg led all SGU scorers with 14 points each. Devonte Young, whose driving shot at the buzzer clanged off the back of the rim, finished with 13. Payton had 15 points for the Pioneers.

The visitors shot 50 percent from the field for the game and held a slight 35-31 advantage on the boards. Ten of the 11 Cavaliers who saw the court scored.

SGU dug an early 12-2 hole, scoring on just one of its first seven possessions. WBU maintained that advantage and led by as many as 13 in the first half. The Cavs trailed 32-20 with 3:12 left but closed the period on a 12-4 run. Dylan Lemley's running jumper from the baseline at the intermission buzzer cut the lead to four.

SGU shot 48 percent in the first half, led by Richey's nine points on 3 of 5 shooting. The Pioneers converted 12 Cavalier turnovers into 12 points in the first 20 minutes.

The home team's positive momentum carried over into the second half, as SGU scored eight of the period's first 10 points. That run was capped off by Richey's breakaway dunk to give the Cavs their first lead of the game at 40-38 with 17:52 to play.

The Pioneers battled back, denying SGU scores on eight of its next 11 possessions and took a 53-46 lead on a Reggie Fondren three-pointer from the wing with 11:09 left. That lead held until late. It was 61-54 WBU at the 5:21 mark when the Cavs went on an 8-1 run over a two-minute span. Young tied it at 62 with a three-pointer and a floater in the lane on consecutive possessions.

The Cavs return to action Saturday at home against Lubbock Christian. That game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Members of Shawnee's civic clubs will receive free admission to both the men's and women's games on Saturday.