MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Andrew Marshall's putback basket with 2:37 left broke a 47-all tie and Belhaven led the rest of the way, escaping Tine Davis Gymnasium with a 56-49 victory here Thursday night in a West Division matchup in the Southern States Athletic Conference.
The Eagles (9-11 overall, 2-8 SSAC) led 32-25 with 16:40 to play, but went the next six minutes without a basket as the Blazers put together a 10-point run to grab a three-point advantage. Neither team led by more than three points down the stretch, with the game turning for good on Marshall's bucket. Belhaven built the lead to seven before Chris Palmore scored the Eagles' final points on a runner in the lane with less than a minute to play.
"It was tough-shooting night for us, but Belhaven is very talented and they made enough plays to win," Faulkner head coach Jim Sanderson said. "We went too many stretches in the game where we couldn't get anything to fall, and that ultimately was the difference. I thought we had a chance to build a bigger lead in the first half, but we couldn't keep them from getting second and third shots."
Faulkner jumped on Adam Okechukwu's back in the first half, riding the senior forward's 11 points to a lead at intermission. The Eagles led by as many as six points in the opening half, despite allowing the Blazers to grab 10 offensive rebounds en route to an 18-13 advantage on the glass.
Okechukwu finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles, who also got 11 points from Chris Palmore. Belhaven (11-11 overall, 6-5 SSAC West), which won for the fifth time in a row, was paced by the 13 points apiece from Marshall and Britton Smith.
Faulkner hosts SSAC West Division rival Mobile Saturday afternoon. The game tips off at 4.