MONTGOMERY, Ala. ----- Sophomore Quay Davis drained a deep 3-pointer as time expired to lift the Auburn Montgomery men's basketball team to a 67-66 victory over Belhaven Saturday at the AUM Gymnasium.
The Warhawks (6-9, 5-4 SSAC) led for the majority of the contest, including by a game-high 15 points with 14:30 to play, but Blazers (9-12, 5-4 SSAC) took only its second lead of the game, 65-63, with 17 seconds remaining following a 3-pointer by Luke Rogers.
After a timeout, AUM looked for a potential game-tying play, but junior Chris Bell was fouled while trying to score. Bell converted 1-of-2 free throws, leaving the Warhawks still trailing by one with six seconds to play.
An immediate foul sent the Blazers' Chris Cofield to the line for a pair of shots with 5.4 seconds remaining. Cofield calmly hit the first, extending the lead to two, 66-64, but missed the second, which was rebounded by Bell. With a quick outlet pass, the ball was in Davis' hands setting the stage for the game-winning shot. Davis drove to the AUM bench side of the court and heaved up a 25-foot shot which fell straight through the net as time expired and sent the Warhawks home victorious.
"I was thinking about winning the game as soon as I got the ball," Davis said. "We didn't play very well down the stretch and were in a tough position late. Hopefully we can build on this win and continue to get better. I am so happy for the team to come away with a win."
"The right guy had the ball at the end of the game because he can make shots," head coach Larry Chapman said of the game winner. "Quay hit a big shot for our team. He got where he could launch it and fortunately it went it. There is no such thing as a bad win."
Davis finished with a team-leading 20 points, including four 3-pointers, while Bell added his second consecutive double-double with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
"We are really on to something with Chris," Chapman said. "He is taking coaching and is letting us help him. He is really playing well and is a good kid. Overall I thought Quay had a very good game for us. He is certainly capable of having big nights offensively."
Junior Brett Person chipped in 12 points and five rebounds off the bench. Fellow junior LaRel Jackson added five points, eight assists and three steals, while freshman Tristen Harrell added eight points and seven rebounds. Both Jackson and Harrell each played all 40 minutes.
"I thought Brett's athleticism was needed in the second half and he responded well," Chapman added of Person. "His points down in the post made a difference for us and I thought he played very poised."
"LaRel is a natural leader," Chapman said of Jackson. "We brought him in to start, but he really showed his true character when he went to the bench. He is encouraging to his teammates and is dependable. He is mentally strong and knows how to play. He kept us in our right defenses and knew what we want to do."
For the game, the Warhawks converted 45.2 percent of their shots, compared to 42 percent for the Blazers. AUM knocked down seven 3-pointers and converted 4-of-6 free throw attempts. Belhaven hit nine treys and was 15-of-20 from the charity stripe.
AUM dominated the glass, posting 45 rebounds to the Blazers' 21. The Warhawks finished with 18 offensive rebounds, a mark which led to 17 second-chance points. AUM committed 21 turnovers, but forced 15 miscues in the victory.
Jordan Butts led all players with 26 points, while Rogers scored 12 points, all of which came from behind the arc.
The Warhawks will return to action Thursday, Jan. 24, when they travel to conference foe Mobile for a 7:30 p.m. tilt.