BRISTOL, Tenn. - Mike Smith had 35 points, seven rebounds and five assists as he led the Pfeiffer men's basketball team (9-9, 6-7 CC) to a 76-73 upset victory over King (16-4, 11-2) in overtime. Smith was two points shy of his career high and accounted for nearly half of the team's points as Pfeiffer handed the Tornado their first home loss of the season.
The Falcons entered play ranked third in the nation in field goal percentage defense and held the highest scoring team in the conference to 15 points below their season average. The Tornado were held to a season-worst 30.2 percent shooting from the field (19-for-63) and a season-low 28.2 percent from behind the arc (11-for-39).
King's Logan Lyle came into tonight as the nation's leader in three pointers made and while he knocked down three triples tonight, he went just 3-for-13.
"Harvey McMurray did a great job defensively for us tonight," said Head Coach Jeremy Currier. "He had a tough task in guarding Logan Lyle and was outstanding."
Pfeiffer had many key performances aside from Smith and McMurray. AJ Clark had 11 points, five rebounds and five assists, while De'Vonte Jenkins had a career-high 14 rebounds and three blocked shots. Mackly Bien-Aime had seven points and five rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench and Andrew Guerrero hit a huge three pointer in overtime.
"Mike was unbelievable, he stepped up and made big plays for us," said Currier. "Our whole team was focused and have been working hard to improve. Tonight it showed."
The Falcons ran out to an early 13-2 lead and King didn't make their first field goal of the contest until the 11:41 mark of the first half. Pfeiffer built the lead to 18-6 before the Tornado mounted a rally. The hosts took a 22-21 lead thanks to a 16-3 spurt but the teams would go into the break tied at 30 as Smith scored 18 in the opening period.
King looked to be taking control with 11:05 left in the first half as they built a 49-43 lead but the Falcons would not be held down. Pfeiffer scored 11 of the next 12 points to take a 54-51 advantage. King would surge back ahead and with 4:30 to play, holding a 61-57 lead. Clark would answer with a three pointer and Smith went 1-for-2 from the line to tie the score with 2:35 to play. C.J. Good converted a jumper with 2:03 to go and Bien-Amy would go to the free throw line at the 1:09 mark. Bien-Amy calmly sank both ends of a 1-and-1 and neither team would convert in the final minute as the game went to OT.
Smith scored first but King would answer with a three point play to take a 66-65 advantage. Unfortunately for the Tornado, it would be their final lead of the game as Clark buried a three on the other end. King would trim a four point Pfeiffer lead to 72-70 with 2:38 but Guerrero's huge three pointer gave Pfeiffer a five point lead. Pfeiffer extended the lead to six but Hunter LeVeau knocked down all three free throws to trim the lead in half. Pfeiffer wouldn't convert with 14 seconds left but Lyle's final attempt from long range hit off the rim and was grabbed by Smith who dribbled out the clock.
The game featured 12 lead changes and 11 ties as Pfeiffer emerged victorious. Neither team led by more than six points over the final 16:05 of the game.
Lyle led the Tornado with 15 points as four players reached double figures. King was held to 9-for-33 shooting in the second half and overtime and were outrebounded 50-39.
The Falcons shot 44.3 percent from the field and hit 10 three pointers, their highest total of the season.
The win was Pfeiffer's second in a row at the Student Center Complex as last year they won in Bristol 72-69.
Pfeiffer looks to stay hot as they travel to North Greenville on Saturday at 4 p.m.