Trevon Donnell had missed his previous six shots in Saturday’s season opener for the Texas College Steers at Gus F. Taylor Gymnasium.
But when the Steers needed a basket in the game’s final seconds, Donnell came through to give Texas College a 79-76 victory over the Knights.
Demetrious Fitzpatrick hit two free throws with 31 seconds remaining to give Texas College a 75-74 lead.
SUNO responded with a drive by Chris Mark with 23 seconds left. The Steers immediately inbounded the ball, and Christian Bryant pushed the ball up the court and found a cutting Donnell for the go-ahead score.
The Knights got the ball to Kevin Rapp, who was called for a travel with 11 seconds to play. Michael Walker knocked down two free throw for the Steers, and Mark's tying attempt at the horn was no good.
“I preached earlier this week about adversity,” Texas College head basketball coach Marquet Norfleet said. “We hadn’t felt adversity, and I told the guys that adversity is going to show the type of team we have. We had some adversity, and we fought through it. We’re glad to start the season off 1-0.”
The Steers were playing with just eight players on Saturday — seven of whom attempts a 3-pointer. Texas College was 11 of 39 from downtown.
“I’ve got faith in my shooters, and they’ve got confidence in themselves,” Norfleet said. “We don’t really put a cap on when they take shots. We’ve got a lot of guys that can make tough shots. And I’ve got a lot of faith in my guards. I believe I’ve got the best guard talent in America.”
The Steers had a rough start from the floor, missing five straight treys to fall behind 9-0.
Dominique Phlegm knocked down three 3-pointers in a three-minute span to tie the score at 13. The Steers used an 11-2 run later in the half to take a 38-34 lead into halftime.
SUNO regained the lead early in the second half with a personal 7-0 run by Ray Anderson.
Down 63-60 with less than seven minutes to play, Texas College got a floater from freshman Legend Barrett, a deep 3-pointer from Bryant and an old-fashioned 3-point play from Walker to go up 68-63. SUNO responded with a 6-0 run, and Dandrick Green’s layup with 3:44 to play made the score 69-68.
The teams traded threes by Bryant and Green. Rapp then converted a layup to give the Knight a 74-71 lead with 1:52 on the clock.
Fitzpatrick scored on a drive to the basket with 1:07 left and then put the Steers in front with his free throws a little more than 30 seconds later.
Phlegm led Texas College with 20 points. Bryant and Barrett had 14 points each. Bryant also had seven rebounds, five steals and five assists.
Mark led SUNO with 16 points, and Anderson had 14 points and eight rebounds. Raymone Lampkin — a 7-footer — finished with 8 points, eight rebounds and five blocks before fouling out.
SUNO owned a 51-39 advantage on the boards, but the Knights turned the ball over 28 times to just nine giveaways for the Steers.
Texas College (1-0) will host Rust College at 7 p.m. Thursday.