West Plains, Missouri -- In a game that took nearly 2 1/2 hours to complete because of a clock malfunction, Indian Hills overcame a big first-half deficit and stormed back to knock off Missouri State-West Plains, 98-96, on Wednesday night.
MS-WP, ranked 16th, looked like it was going to have a good shot to avenge an earlier 26-point loss at the hands of the third-rated Warriors, racing away to a 38-21 lead with about seven minutes remaining in the opening half. That advantage came just over two minutes after a pair of lengthy delays caused by faulty game and shot clocks. With the time being kept at the scorer's table -- and a notice shouted out when the shot clock reached 10 seconds -- play was able to resume.
The Grizzlies (17-3) were red-hot early, making six of their first seven 3-point attempts -- three each by Johde Campbell and Eric Lovett. They built leads of 10-2, 23-10 and, then, the 17-point bulge. The Warriors used a quick 9-0 run to get back to within single digits and they cut the deficit to four right before halftime before a buzzer-beater by the Grizzlies' Radshad Davis upped the margin to six at the half.
It was only the second time in 19 games the Warriors found themselves trailing at intermission.
Indian Hills rode the inspired second-half performances of the trio of Antonio "Booman" Williams, Shane Gatling and Ivan Aurrecoechea, with contributions from Rob Montgomery and Tomas Woldetensae, and a big 3-pointer by Devontae Lane, to keep it close throughout the final 20 minutes.
IHCC finally went ahead 87-85 on a layup by Aurrecoechea and widened the lead on a pair of free throws by Williams.
Gatling supplied a huge 3-point goal to make it 93-87 and the sophomore guard connected on four straight foul shots in the last 30 seconds to allow the Warriors to hold off the Grizzlies.
A potential game-winning 3-point try by MS-WP, that was off the mark, may or may not have come after the game clock had run out. Fortunately for Indian Hills, that was a decision that didn't have to be made and the final margin stayed at two points, the Warriors running their season-opening winning streak to 19.
Williams and Gatling combined for 55 of IHCC's points -- a career-high 28 for Booman and 27 for Gatling. Aurrecoechea added 14.
Davis topped the Grizzlies with 22.
Another stiff road test awaits the Warriors on Saturday night when they begin conference play at No. 20 Southeastern.
INDIAN HILLS 98, MISSOURI STATE-WEST PLAINS 96
Ivan Aurrecoechea 6 2-3 14, Jamel Allen 0 2-2 2, Antonio Williams 11 6-10 28, Tomas Woldetensae 3 0-0 8, Shane Gatling 8 7-8 27, Devontae Lane 3 0-0 7, Corey Manigault 0 0-0 0, Rob Montgomery 4 0-1 8, James Jean-Marie 1 2-4 4 Team 36 19-28 98
MISSOURI STATE-WEST PLAINS
Ricky Torres 6 5-6 19, Radshad Davis 8 5-5 22, Dontell Brown 6 4-6 16, Eric Lovett 5 0-0 13, Johde Campbell 6 0-0 16, Montel Stewart 2 0-0 5, Leo Kontopoulos 1 2-2 5 Team 34 16-19 96
Halftime score: Missouri State-West Plains 48, Indian Hills 42; Three-point field goals: IHCC 7 (Gatling 4, Woldetensae 2, Lane 1); MS-WP 12 (Campbell 4, Lovett 3, Torres 2, Davis 1, Stewart 1, Kontopolous 1)