A second-half surge brought the Eagles back from down 10 to force overtime at Columbia International University, but the CIU Rams scored the go-ahead basket with under a minute left and defeated the Trinity Baptist College Eagles 76-71 Wednesday night in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Eagles flew back from a 27-17 halftime deficit on the strength of 57% shooting in the second half. The Eagles hit 9 of 14 three-point attempts during that run and took an eight-point lead with three minutes left. Columbia, though, hit a number of three-pointers of their own in the final three minutes of regulation to put up a 60-60 score at the end of regulation.

The overtime period went back-and-forth and was tied at 71-all with under a minute left. CIU’s Druw Rollings hit a lay-up and converted the three-point play with 55 seconds left on the clock.

Zach Norris led the Eagles with 18 points, second overall on the night. Chandler Rivers was next with 17, and Marquel Perry scored 14. Norris (4 for 9), Rivers (3 for 7), and Perry (4 for 9) combined for 11 of 25 successful three-point shots overall, including that 9-of-14 stretch. Marquis Duncanson added 6 points while Marcus Dixon scored 4, Kaleb Botts and Caleb Howard each had a three-pointer, and Andrew Bowman and JyKayle Walker each scored two. An unintentional score from CIU into Trinity’s basket were the other two points.

For the Rams, Tyrone Dantzler followed Rollings with 12 points, and Damian Hurta and Micha Banks each totaled 11 to help lead their team.

The Eagles return to Jacksonville to play NCAA Division 1 University of North Florida Ospreys this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Two games at the GNTC Classic in north Georgia will follow on December 8 and 9, and the final game before Christmas break will occur at Keiser University on December 12.

–Raymond Bureau, TBC

PHOTO: CIU Rams on YouTube Screen Shot