By Mikkayla Guillett, Michael De Leon, Paul Garcia
The Austin Toros (15-21) faced the New Mexico Thunderbirds (15-22) tonight at the Cedar Park Center looking to get another win but it was too little, too late in a thrilling game double-overtime game. Toros lose, 119-117.
Toros’ Marcus Cousin opened the game by scoring the first six points for Austin. After Leo Lyons threw a no-look pass, he then received a pass for a dunk from point guard Squeaky Johnson.
The Toros post-defense had trouble as the Thunderbirds were able to get into the paint with little interference. The Toros gave up 22 points in the paint in the first quarter.
With 24 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Toros’ Aubrey Coleman ran from the baseline and dunked through the Thunderbirds defense. At the end of the first, the Thunderbirds led 33 to 26.
Coleman did his part in closing the first quarter gap by scoring six consecutive points to start the second quarter.
The Toros then went on a 9-0 run, executing on the offensive end and playing solid defense in the paint which brought them within one point of the Thunderbirds with 5:27 remaining in the half.
The Thunderbirds would bounce back though, due in large part to the efforts of forward Josh Bostic and guard Jamine Peterson, and went into the half with a five point lead, 56-61.
Bostic led all scorers through the first half with 15 points. Lyons added 14 points and four rebounds for the Toros.
After intermission the Toros fought back and tied the game at 70 with a Palmer jumper. Both teams exchanged buckets and Austin continued to trail by a possession.
Collectively, the Toros struggled from beyond the arc and connected on one long ball during the quarter. Palmer was successful in the paint on multiple occasions and managed to put points on the board while battling four defenders.
Down by six heading in to the final quarter, Aubrey Coleman brought the house down with a posterization of the Thunderbirds got the crowd fired up and closed the lead to two with 10:28 remaining. The dunk was enough to force New Mexico head coach Darvin Ham to call a timeout.
Aubrey Coleman put the Toros back within one with a little over a minute in the game, 107-106. After a Toros timeout the team tried to drum up a play but it resulted in the Thunderbirds stacked in the paint. Several open shots were not capitalized on and Cousin’s lay-up was blocked by one of the four Thunderbird defenders that were surrounding him.
However, with 1.3 seconds remaining in the game the unthinkable happened and Toros’ Lance Thomas made a jumper that sent the game in to overtime.
The three-minute overtime gave the Toros their first lead since the first half. Both teams put up four points and extended the game to double-overtime.