FREDERICK, Md.--The Hood College men's basketball team (7-4) eked out a narrow 53-51 nonconference victory over the visiting Frostburg State University Bobcats (7-3) Monday evening at the Odom Fitness Center at Fort Detrick.
The Blazers raced out of the gates and scored the first nine points of the ballgame. In fact, the Bobcats missed their first 13 shots from the floor before Jamal Bracken snapped the drought with a jumper at the 8:08 mark. Hood's largest lead in the stanza was 13 but Frostburg managed to claw its way back into it. Consecutive layups by Terrance Taylor and Bradley Nunn made it a three-point game with 1:12 to go in the half, but the Blazers clung to a five-point edge at intermission.
Frostburg came out of the locker room with renewed resolve, reeling off seven straight markers to take its first lead of the night, 29-27, on a triple by Mac Minturn 2:28 in. It was nip and tuck the rest of the way as neither team led by more than five and the lead changed hands eight times.
After a three-minute scoring drought by both teams, a pair of foul shots by Hood's Brenden Straughn regained a 42-41 lead for the Blazers at the 5:25 mark. Later in the half, Frostburg's Nick Sefcik drained a pair of triples to give the guests a 47-45 lead. Despite four chances on the offensive end, two from behind the arc and two at the stripe, Hood managed just a single free throw in its four possessions to close to within 47-46 with 1:58 left.
Following a Frostburg timeout, FSU's Ellis Hartridge put back his own miss to make it 49-46, but Straughn swished a clutch trey at the other end to tie it at 49-all with 1:16 to go.
After a layup by Taylor wouldn't fall on Frostburg's next possession, Tory Wilson converted an acrobatic layup off a beautiful feed from Straughn to make it 51-49 Hood with 36 seconds remaining in regulation.
Frostburg worked the ball up the court and burned its final timeout of the contest with 26 ticks left. On the ensuing play, Steven Ogg's layup was off the mark and the rebound caromed off a Frostburg player and out of bounds, giving the ball back to Hood. Sefcik fouled Straughn immediately who went to the line for two shots. He missed the first but made the second to keep it a one-possession game.
The Blazers then fouled Hartridge with five seconds left to put the Bobcats in the double bonus. Hartridge nailed both free throws, closing the gap to one. Sefcik once again fouled Straughn on the inbounds which resulted in a similar scenario as Straughn missed the first but hit the second. With the door still slightly ajar to either win or tie, the Bobcats had to work quickly with no timeouts left, but were unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer sounded and the Blazers escaped with the win.
Both teams struggled from the foul line, misfiring on 30 total attempts from the charity stripe. But the Blazers found a way to win and remained undefeated at home (4-0).
Straughn finished with a game-high 15 points, 12 of which came in the second half, and grabbed five rebounds. Tyler Snoots tallied nine points and six boards while Reco Siler chipped in with eight points and four assists.
Taylor had a team-high 12 points for the Bobcats but connected on just 3-of-12 from the field in defeat.
Hood continues its three-game homestand Wednesday hosting Capital Athletic Conference opponent Wesley College in the second game of a doubleheader at 8 p.m. at the Odom Fitness Center at Fort Detrick.