GAFFNEY, SC - The Pfeiffer men's basketball team (7-8, 4-6) snapped an eight game losing streak to Limestone (4-15. 4-7) with a 76-71 victory inside the Timken Center. Mike Smith dominated the first half, while teammate AJ Clark handled the load in the second half. Smith scored 19 of his 20 points in the opening period and Clark closed the contest with a 22 point second half.
Freshman Josh Calhoun calmly sank two free throws with 1.6 seconds to go to ice the victory. Calhoun was exactly who the Falcons wanted at the line as he entered the game as a 93 percent free throw shooter, which ranks fifth in all of Division II.
The Falcons shot a scorching 9-for-16 from behind the arc, good for 56.3 percent, and was the second straight game they knocked down nine triples. Pfeiffer shot 54.2 percent from the field for the game, including a 59.3 mark in the first half.
Smith put the team on his back early, accounting for 13 of the Falcons first 25 points. Limestone misfired on their first seven three point attempts in the game as Pfeiffer surged ahead early. With 3:41 to play in the half, Pfeiffer led 32-21 and was holding the Saints to just 35 percent shooting. Limestone would shave three points off the lead heading into the break as Pfeiffer took the 37-29 advantage. In the opening period, Pfeiffer's bench outscored Limestone's reserves 29-0.
Limestone was determined to claw back into the game and stared the second half on a 7-1 run to cut the score to 38-36. A three point basket by Andrew Guerrero would give the Falcons some breathing room but Limestone would surge back again. With 14:04 left, the Saints' Teron Wallace hit a three to make the score 44-42 in favor of Pfeiffer. Clark answered on the other end and the Falcons would soon build the lead to 13 with 7:34 to play. The resilient Saints outscored Pfeiffer 17-5 and a three pointer by Shaq Dance cut the lead to 69-68 with 1:47 to play. Limestone had a chance to take the lead but Asaad Woods' jumper missed the mark and sent Guerrero to the line. The sophomore sank two and Clark would also hit two to give Pfeiffer a 73-68 advantage with 21 seconds. However, Dance responded with a triple to cut the lead to two. Clark would go to the line and hit 1-for-2 to push the lead to three and Brolin Floyd missed a potential game-tying three with four second to go. Calhoun sank his clinching free throws for Pfeiffer's first win at Limestone since Jan. 24, 2009.
Clark finished the game with 24 points and Guerrero added 14. Calhoun finished with 12 points and didn't commit a turnover in 34 minutes of action.
Limestone was led by 23 points from Floyd and Dance. The Saints shot 48 percent from the field and went 8-for-22 from long range in a losing effort.
The Falcons effort was even more impressive considering the fact that 48 hours ago the team played a triple overtime thriller against Lees-McRae. Pfeiffer showed no signs of fatigue in tonight's contest.
The Falcons return to action on Friday evening as they host Erskine at 7:30 p.m.