Niceville, Florida -- For the second night in a row Indian Hills had a chance for a last-second game-winning shot. And for the second straight night the shot wouldn't go down and the Warriors dropped an excruciating one-point decision. This time it was the Warriors losing to Northwest Florida State, 65-64, on the Raiders' home floor.
Tyon Grant-Foster rebounded a missed NWF attempt with eight seconds left and took the ball the length of the floor with his team trailing by a single point. Grant-Foster's running shot in the lane rolled off the rim as time expired, allowing the Raiders to hold off a late IHCC comeback attempt.
Grant-Foster was at the forefront of that comeback for Indian Hills. With IHCC down 63-57 after consecutive 3-point plays by NWF, Grant-Foster drilled a three to cut the lead in half. Then, after a pair of free throws by the Raiders' Shakwon Barrett, Grant-Foster nailed a three from the left wing and was fouled on the play. When he added the foul shot, the Warriors trailed by one with 36.4 seconds on the clock. Indian Hills, as they had the previous night against Gulf Coast State when they were one point behind in the last minute of regulation, got a defensive stop and put themselves in position to win in the last seconds. But, they weren't able to pull it out.
Unlike the Gulf Coast contest, this time Indian Hills led for most of the game, 34:13 to be exact. Their largest advantage was 11 points in the first half. They opened up a 44-35 margin in the second period and didn't give up the lead until the Raiders tied the score at 55-all on the 3rd consecutive field goal by reserve Marseilles Caston. Chris Payton's putback let IHCC regain the lead, then Carte'are Gordon scored inside to tie it again at 57-57. Consecutive three-point plays by Caston and Barrett followed -- the first time the Radiers led the entire game -- and put NWF up by six, and the IHCC rally in the last 1:40 fell just short.
Drake Jeffries made two straight buckets -- one of them a three -- to give Indian Hills a six-point advantage and Chris Payton made two free throws for an 8-point bulge before Caston hit the first of his three baskets in a row.
The Warriors came out firing in the opening half, banging home five early 3-pointers to go up by nine points less than six minutes into the game. Of their 12 first-half field goals, eight were threes, by seven different players. They still led by nine late in the first period before Gordon's three-point play narrowed the margin to six at intermission.
For the second straight game, Indian Hills, averaging 25.5 free throw attempts per game before arriving in Florida, got only five chances from the foul line. Their 12 made threes were one away from tying the season-high. IHCC outrebounded the Raiders, one of the biggest teams they'll face all year, 42-26.
Grant-Foster, with 16 points, led Indian Hills. Chris Childs was the only other player in double figures with 11. Caston led four double-digit scorers for the Raiders with 17.
The Warriors (6-2) go on the road again next weekend, playing two games in the Moberly (Mo.) Classic. They'll start with State Fair on Friday and square off against Moberly the next night.
NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE 65, INDIAN HILLS 64
Chris Payton 1 3-4 5, Maurice Calloo 3 0-0 7, Tyrese Nickelson 2 0-0 5, Loseni Kamara 2 0-0 5, Chris Childs 4 0-0 11, Malique Jacobs 0 0-0 0, Tyon Grant-Foster 6 1-1 16, Drake Jeffries 3 0-0 8, JD Muila 2 0-0 4, Dedoch Chan 1 0-0 3, Theo Bourgeois 0 0-0 0, Ben Lyon 0 0-0 0, Samba Kane 0 0-0 0 Team 24 4-5 64
NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE
Seth Millner 6 0-0 14, Carte'are Gordon 4 5-6 13, Shakwon Barrett 5 4-5 15, Jourdan Smith 1 0-0 2, Indrek Sunelik 0 0-0 0, Anthony Mason 1 0-0 2, Marseilles Caston 6 1-1 17, Szymon Wojcik 0 0-2 0, Jan Wojcik 0 0-0 0 Team 24 10-14 65
Halftime score: Indian Hills 33, Northwest Florida 27; Three-point field goals: IHCC 12 (Grant-Foster 3, Childs 3, Jeffries 2, Calloo 1, Nickelson 1, Kamara 1, Chan 1), NWF 7 (Caston 4, Millner 2, Barrett 1)