HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) _ Thanks to one of its biggest victories this season, William Carey University stands atop the men’s basketball standings in the Southern States Athletic Conference.
Junior swingman Cameron Douglas scored six consecutive points in the game’s final two minutes Saturday at Clinton Gymnasium to spark the 22nd-ranked Crusaders to a 73-69 victory over eighth-ranked and previously unbeaten Stillman College.
Douglas capped his mini-run with two free throws that put Carey in front for good, 71-69. After Stillman missed a 3-point attempt in the waning seconds, senior forward Branden Sheppard knocked down a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds to play.
With its ninth win its past 10 games, the Crusaders find themselves alone with a 6-0 SSAC record.
Stillman (13-1), which scored its fewest points of the season, fell into a second-place SSAC tie with Bethel University, both teams sporting 5-1 records.
After a back-and-forth first half, Carey found itself up 37-35 at halftime. The tug-of-war continued through the second half before Stillman senior guard Ravion Henry scored seven consecutive points to lift the Tigers into a 69-65.
But that was Stillman’s last gasp, as Carey carried off the upset.
Sheppard led the Crusaders with 10 points and 15 rebounds, while junior wing Brandon Cranford added 16 points and three assists.
Senior guard Adrian Williams had 13 points and seven rebounds. Senior wing Leito Holloway added 11 points, while Douglas finished with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Carey shot a season-best 80 percent (8 of 10), while Stillman struggled, making only 30 percent of its attempts beyond the arc (6 of 20).
The Crusaders had a huge advantage from the free-throw line as well. Carey went 21-of-27 from the foul line, while the Tigers were making 9-of-12.
Henry, a Delta State transfer, scored a game-high 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Tigers.
Senior wing Dantaveous Crawford added 12 points but went just 5-of-18 from the floor.
Stillman’s three other starters scored eight apiece, Senior forward Leon Hampton, a Pearl River Community College transfer, also had 10 rebounds and two assists, while junior guard Tamarco McDuffie added eight rebounds and three assists.
Carey will travel to Blue Mountain College for a 7:30 tip Thursday in Blue Mountain, Miss.