Raiders escape with 50-49 victory

 Patterson, Ellerbe carry Richmond to win No. 14

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

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ROCKINGHAM — First-half shooting for the Richmond Raiders didn’t go exactly as planned Friday night against visiting Lumberton.

The Raiders shot 7 for 38 — a measly 18.4 percent — from the floor in the first 16 minutes of the Southeastern Conference matchup against the Pirates. It mattered little, however, in the end when Octavius Patterson nailed two free throws with 2.2 seconds to go to lift Richmond to a 50-49 victory.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Octavius Patterson nails the second of two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to pull Richmond to within three points.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Octavius Patterson nails the second of two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to pull Richmond to within three points.

A poorly aimed throw at the buzzer by Lumberton was nowhere close to the basket and the Richmond faithful, led by the varsity cheerleading squad, were chanting “Raider Magic.”

The win moves Richmond to 14-6 overall and 6-2 in conference play while Lumberton dropped to 4-4 in the conference and 9-11 overall. If Scotland won its Friday night matchup, the Fighting Scots and Raiders would remain in a two-way tie for first place in the conference with two regular season games left to play.

For the Raiders — well, it was a first half they’d just as likely prefer to not watch on tape. Their game started in the second half. Trailing 30-18 at intermission and 34-18 a mere 55 seconds into the third quarter, Richmond coach David Laton called a timeout. Enough was enough, he said.

Laton spoke. His team listened — and burst through the Pirates’ pressure defense for a 16-2 run to pull with 36-30. Lavell Ellerbe scored seven of the 16 points, and after T.J. Watkins took the offensive rebound for a contested layup, Ellerbe struck again with 2:05 left in the third to cut the gap to just two points, 36-34.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com It was a fan's favorite kind of game — at least for the winning side.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
It was a fan’s favorite kind of game — at least for the winning side.

The teams traded baskets to close out the third period and Lumberton led 41-38 entering the fourth quarter. During the break, the Pirates regained their composure and scored the first five points of the final quarter to jump to a 46-38 lead.

The Raiders were down, but not out. Patterson nailed two 3-pointers with a 25-second span while the Pirates countered with a single free throw. The net gain pulled Richmond to within 47-44 with three minutes to go.

Patterson drained two free throws at the 2:37 mark to cut the deficit to a single point, and Patterson struck again with a layup with 46 seconds left on the clock for the Raiders’ first lead — at 48-47 — since an 11-9 edge early in the second period.

Lumberton reclaimed the lead eight seconds later when Tyreik McCullom put the offensive rebound into the break basket for a 49-48 advantage.

Patterson was fouled from behind the 3-point arc with 2.2 seconds on the clock. He hit the first one to knot the score 49-49. He hit the second one for a one-point lead — the game-winner, as it turned out — and several timeouts later, missed the third on purpose in an attempt to get the rebound.

Click image for larger version

Click image for larger version

Ellerbe finished with a game-high 20 points, while Patterson added 13. T.J. Watkins chipped in with seven points while Tre Pettigrew and Jaylen Terry added five points apiece in the win.

Xavier Grissett and Tyreik McCullom each scored 13 points to pace Lumberton in the loss. Josh Smith added eight points, Tyleik Brown had seven and Keanu Brock had six. Jordan Cummings added two points.

 

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