DUE WEST, S.C. - The Mars Hill men's basketball team (1-3) fell to Erskine (2-2) in overtime, 96-95, Monday evening on the road.
Mars Hill led 84-79 with just over 30 seconds remaining in regulation. The Flying Fleet, taking advantage of a Lions' turnover, ended the contest on a 5-0 run to send the contest into overtime. Malcoln Green had three points in the run.
Following two Austin Gilyard free throws to put Mars Hill up 95-94 with under two minutes to play, Trent Smoot, Jr. played hero for Erskine, hitting the game-winning basket with 53 second remaining. Gilyard's buzzer-beating attempt was blocked by Smoot, Jr.
With just over eight minutes played in the contest, Mars Hill led 17-12 before the Flying Fleet reeled off 11 straight points to take the 23-17 with 9:33 to play in the first half. Mars Hill capped off a 10-4 run to tie the game at 27 off of a Ja'Shawn Brooks three-pointer.
Trading baskets down the stretch, Green put the Flying Fleet up by three with 1:15 until halftime. Brooks' two made free throws with under a minute to play were the catalyst for a 5-0 run to end the half, including a Matthew Powell three-pointer that gave Mars Hill the 41-39 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Brooks led the Lions with 10 points in the half. Green and Jordan Watson led Erskine with 10 points apiece.
Watson and Uzziah Dawkins combined for 21 points in the second half to lead the Flying Fleet into overtime. Brooks led all players with 19 points, hitting three-of-four three-pointers and draining all eight free throw attempts.
Down by four with 12:38 left in regulation, Brooks went on a 7-0 run to regain the Lions' lead. Brooks added eight more points, scoring 15 consecutive points for the Lions before a Jamal Bryant three ended Brooks' streak with 8:09 to play.
Mars Hill led by as many as nine with 6:06 remaining before the Flying Fleet began their comeback bid.
Erskine ended the contest with five players in double-figures with Watson recording a team-high 22 points followed by Green's 21 on the night. Caleb Shackleford pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds.
Brooks ended the game with 31, tying his career-high. Nassyr Daniel hit all eight shot attempts for 16 points while collecting 11 rebounds for the double-double. Jamal Bryant had 12 points and 12 rebounds for his double-double.
Mars Hill returns to action on Wednesday, November 20 when they take on Warren Wilson on the road. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.