TIFTON -- The Abraham Baldwin College Stallions basketball team ran its record to 10-3 in thrilling fashion defeating the Hiwassee Tigers 78-77 in overtime here Wednesday evening.
It was the second meeting of the two teams as Hiwassee won earlier in the season.
"To avenge an earlier season loss is great," said first year ABAC head coach Todd Sheppard of the overtime win. "This is what it's all about."
The Stallions had a chance to avenge the loss in regulation as they led 68-66 with 1.1 seconds left to play. But a foul on the Tigers' inbounds pass put Hiwassee's Bryan Turner on the line where he sank both free throws.
In the overtime period ABAC struck first with a Chris Brown bucket and the Stallions never looked back. Rafael Burford buried a long jumper to pad the lead and the Stallions were able to control the remainder of the extra period.
Trailing by five with two minutes to play in the first half, Hiwassee went on a run cutting the lead to one point, 30-29, at the break.
The Tigers remained hot for the much of the second half building leads of seven and nine points.
"When we got down by nine, I started to get a little worried," Sheppard said, "but these guys don't panic."
With just under four minutes to play and down 60-51, the Stallions turned it on scoring 13 unanswered points including back-to-back three pointers by Erick Fisher.
"We have 'spurtability'," said Sheppard. "We have an awful lot of guys who can step up and get hot, and everybody else feeds off of that."
The long ball seemed to play a role in the outcome as ABAC was good seven times from beyond the three-point line while the Tigers had none.
"I was impressed with the job we did against their three-pointers," said Sheppard.
Burford was the Stallions' leading scorer finishing with 17 points. Brown had 13. Hiwassee's Anthony Cabbage had 20 points and Cedric Brown had 19. Turner ended the game with 16 and Eric Barnes had 11.
The Stallions are in action again tonight at the Gressette Gymnasium taking on Enterprise State at 7:30 p.m.
"I hope we can ride this momentum," said Sheppard.
Tonight's game will be Law Enforcement and Fireman Appreciation Night, as respective members of those organizations will be admitted free by showing an ID or badge.
The ABAC Fillies' basketball team will be in action Friday and Saturday at Gressette.
Coach Julie Conner's team will face Palm Beach Community College at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Florida Community at 2 p.m. Saturday.
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