In a contest that featured 18 ties and 25 lead changes, Southern Wesleyan outscored Belmont Abbey 10-9 in the second overtime as Kenny Holmes closed the scoring on two free throws with eight seconds left to seal the Warriors 87-86 double overtime victory tonight in Tysinger Gymnasium.
Southern Wesleyan improves to 2-11 overall and 1-4 in Conference Carolinas, while the Abbey drops to 3-9 overall and 0-5 in Conference Carolinas.
Belmont Abbey shot 47 percent from the floor and forced 26 Southern Wesleyan turnovers, but the Crusaders made just 17-33 from the line, while the Warriors were 27-33 from the line despite shooting 39 percent from the field.
No lead in the game was higher than eight as the Crusaders largest lead was six with 9:22 to play in the second half, while the Warriors led 75-67 with 2:27 to go in the first overtime.
The Warriors led 34-33 at the half but the Crusaders turned the tables on the hosts in the second 20 minutes, forcing an extra period by outscoring Southern Wesleyan 34-33.
Both teams scored 10 points in the first overtime as the Abbey had a chance to win at the buzzer. After Tyus Gaines missed a three point attempt for the Warriors, Deion Lane grabbed the rebound with 27 seconds left and the Crusaders worked the clock and played for the final shot. With two seconds left, Nick Hough's jumper fell off the rim, sending the game into a second five minute overtime period with the score deadlocked at 77.
The second overtime came after the Crusaders erased that eight point deficit on the strength of a 10-2 run, punctuated by two free throws from Lane with 47 seconds left that tied the game at 77.
In the second overtime, no lead was greater than three points as the Warriors powered ahead 82-79 as Holmes drained a three pointer to break a 79-79 tie with 3:36 to go.
Holmes, who finished with 32 points, again had an answer, as his layup on the next Warriors trip moved the hosts back in front.
That turned out to be the last field goal of the game for either team, as the final six points all came from the free throw line.
Ray Chen sank two free throws with 1:37 left to push the Abbey back on top, but with 56 seconds left, Justice McCullough hit the second of two free throws to tie the game for the 24th time.
Hough was fouled on the next Abbey possession, and like McCullough, missed the first free throw but converted the second with 34 seconds left, giving the Crusaders a one point lead.
With eight seconds left, the Crusaders fouled Holmes, who made both free throws, moving the Warriors ahead for good at 87-86.
Belmont Abbey had one chance left, as it crossed the timeline and called timeout with four seconds left, but a turnover with one second left ended the contest as the Warriors inbounded the ball easily and ran out the clock.
Chen led the Abbey with 22 points, four rebounds and three assists. Hough added 20 points and Lane contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Belmont Abbey will play its next five games inside the Wheeler Center, starting with Friday's noon matchup against Erskine.