Blazers Erase Ten Point Deficit, Win 75-72 at Arcadia
GLENSIDE, Pa.—The Hood College men's basketball team (8-4, 2-3 Commonwealth) defeated Arcadia University (6-5, 3-3 Commonwealth) with a huge second half rally, that saw a ten point deficit turned into a three point victory. It was a huge conference win for the Blazers and it was the squad's second conference win on the road this season.
Hood was led by junior guard Cameron Cook, who scored 24 points on 7-18 shooting, while also hauling in seven rebounds for the game. Cook was his usual lethal self from behind the arc, going 5-10 from three, including some crucial makes in the second half comeback. With his five three's in the game, Cook is now just one three away from tying the Hood record for three's in a career. The previous record of 176 is held by Ryan Junghans, who played for three years, while Cook still has another year after this one to add to his tally. Cook also passed assistant coach Tim Abercrombie on the all-time scoring list, moving into fourth place with 959 points.
Junior guard Justin Bowens also played a very vital role in securing a Blazer victory. Bowens went 6-6 from the free throw line in the last minute of the game and scored the last six Blazer points to lead the team to victory. The game was tied at 69 before Bowens six late free throws, so his calm and collective shots proved to be the difference in the game. Bowens was 8-11 from the line for the game and 1-3 from the floor for ten points. The point guard also corralled four rebounds and had three assists and steals apiece. Senior forward Justin Stone was also in double-figures with 14 points on 6-7 shooting. Arcadia was led by forward Joseph Brown's double-double of 20 points and ten rebounds.
Hood found themselves behind for most of the first half, as Arcadia seemed to just be a step ahead in the opening stanza. Brown hit a couple of shots and was making life tough for the Blazer defense. His shot at the 8:05 mark of the first half gave the Knights a 21-15 lead and early momentum. The Knights shot a blistering 14-28 in the first half, while Hood shot just 7-28, making half the shots the Knights did in the first. A Brown three with 2.0 seconds left in the half saw Hood facing its largest deficit of the game going into the half down ten.
Whatever was said at the halftime break must have seriously worked because Hood came out of the break with ambition to get back into the game. The Blazers went on a 22-4 run in the middle of the half to turn a 12 point deficit into a six point lead. Two Cook three's and five Trey Quinn points sparked the run, while Stone concluded it with a three point play off a nice layup to give Hood its biggest lead of the game. Both teams traded baskets going down the stretch and Arcadia retook the lead at 66-63 with a three point play by Travis Saltus. Stone came back with a three point play of his own until Brown answered with a layup for the Knights. Freshman Matt Galloway hit a big three to give Hood a 69-68 lead with just 1:23 remaining and a Saltus made free throw had the game tied with a minute remaining.
The last minute of the game belonged to Bowens, as he showed the capability to hit pressure shots. He was fouled on the last three Blazer possessions of the game and contributed six points to give Hood a much needed victory in the brunt of its conference schedule.
The Blazers get to savor the victory, but they are right back to work this Wednesday when they travel to Albright in conference action. The game is set to start at 8 p.m.