Livingstone College

Blue Bears Fall to East Stroudsburg 99-98 in NCAA Regional Tournament

By: Bianca Warren
Sports Information Director

The Livingstone College men’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking 99-98 loss to the No. 1 East Stroudsburg University, in the first round of the NCAA Regional Tournament.

The Blue Bears are now 0-2 in NCAA tournament play.

“Our players were resilient the entire game against ESU,” said Head Coach James Stinson.

The Blue Bears had four players to score double figures in the high scoring, fast paced game.
By the first media timeout the lead changed twice with ESU hitting some big three pointers. The Blue Bears defense stayed consistent allowing them to score off of ESU turnovers. LC gained the lead 13-11 with 15:40 on the clock in the first half.

Out of the first media timeout ESU scored two baskets to regain the lead 15-13. Around the 13:35 minute mark, Eric Dubose’s steal and layup tied the game. Daresse Johnson’s block on the opposite end gave the Blue Bears the possession. ESU scored another quick bucket, but Emarri Bailey answered with a layup down the lane. Bailey scored back-to-back baskets to tie the game 19-19 by the second media timeout. Bailey returned from the media timeout and backed his opponent down for a hook shot and the lead 21-19.

Jody Hill toted the ball down the court for a contested three pointer to extend the lead 24-19 with 9:27 left in the first half. ESU cut their deficit to three points after a made three pointer around the eight minute mark. ESU fouled Mark Thomas out of the media timeout. Hill scored a basket at the 6:32 minute mark for the lead at 30-28.

LC called a timeout with 4:38 left in the first half after ESU regained the lead with a made three pointer, 33-32.ESU went on a 6-0 run for the lead 36-32 before the final media timeout of the half was called. After the final media timeout of the half, both teams went on a scoring battle. With 30 seconds left to play in the first half, the Blue Bears trailed by one possession. ESU scored a trey off an LC turnover. Mark Thomas cut the deficit to two points after converting a three-point play. At the half ESU led 48-46.

ESU jumped out on the Blue Bears in the second half. They went on a 23-11 run, including five, three-pointers before the first media timeout in the second half could be called to maintain a 62-54 lead over LC.

“We didn’t flinch once whenever we were down,” said Stinson.

By the 11:11 minute mark, Hill scored 10 of the Blue Bears 12 points. Eric Dubose cut the game to a two possession game after he was fouled behind the three point line. With a little over 9:30 left in the game, ESU maintained a balanced scoring pattern, but Mark Thomas hit a trey and followed with a layup to tie the game 83-83, with seven minutes to play. The Blue Bears came back after trailing by 13 points.

Coming off the last media timeout LC trailed 92-87. ESU went on a 7-2 run with 2:48 left to play in the game. Mark Thomas hit a triple to cut the deficit to just seven points at 99-92 with 2:05 left to play. Thomas was fouled behind the three and hit all three shots. He followed with a three pointer to trail by one point with 8.8 seconds left in the game. Thomas who hit the Blue Bears last nine points had one last attempt for the victory but what should’ve been a foul was overturned by the buzzard.

Thomas finished the game with a game high 36 points. Hill paced the game with 29 points, including five, three pointers. Dubose and Bailey added 10 points apiece to the score. Bailey snatched eight rebounds while Mayo grabbed a team high 10 rebounds.

The Blue Bears shot 44.9 percent from the field (35-78) and 78.3 percent from the free throw line.

Livingstone concluded their 2013-14 season 21-8 overall.

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