by Philip Dowden
Disbelief was how the Ashcroft Center felt Wednesday night as the Evangel men’s basketball was stunned at the buzzer 84-82 by MidAmerica Nazarene in Heart Conference action.
With 4.4 seconds left, a baseball pass to half court by the Pioneers was bobbled and kicked to Anthony Brown who drained a 42-foot shot as time expired to stun the Crusaders.
Evangel had erased a 12-point deficit when Edriel Martinborough danced around an MNU defender in the lane with 1:03 left in the game. The lay-in tied the game at 76-76, however, the fireworks were just beginning.
After a pair of MNU free throws with 42 seconds left, Clark Brewington banked in his first and only points of the night behind the line to give Evangel a 79-78 lead. The lead came with 23 seconds left in the game as Evangel had seen a 10-point lead in the first half evaporate by halftime.
On the ensuing possession, MNU would hit its second-biggest three-pointer of the night with nine seconds left.
However, Nate Davis would quickly dribble into the frontcourt and pull up from the top of the key to give Evangel back the lead with 4.4 seconds left. A series of timeouts would lead up to the finish for the Pioneers who sweep the season series from Evangel.
Sophomore Cade Coffman led Evangel with 23 points and eight rebounds in the loss as five different Crusaders finished in double figures. Pavel Antonov tallied 15 points off the bench and Josh Pritchett added 13 points, while Davis finished with 12 points and six assists.
The Crusaders struggled on the glass being out-rebounded by a 43-28 margin. Also despite going 22 of 34 from the free-throw line, Evangel found itself with the lead in the final seconds.
MidAmerica Nazarene was led by Anthony Brown who finished with 32 points in the win.
Evangel will head back on the road to start its final road trip Saturday at Grand View. Tipoff from Des Moines, Iowa is scheduled for 2 p.m.