#2 Fishburne postgrad basketball holds off #10 Massanutten, 85-81
The three from Harris (6’5”, 185, Glen Carbon, Ill./Kansas State) was part of a late 11-2 Caissons run that came after a three from Isaac Fleming put MMA up 76-72 with 3:26 to go. Jordon Talley (6’0”, 180, Richmond, Va.), out of a timeout, scored on a runner in the lane to cut the margin to two, and on FMS’s next possession, Talley found Shamiek Sheppard (6’6”, 220, Brooklyn) for a dunk that tied the game at 76 with 2:10 to go.
Talley and Fleming traded baskets to leave the game knotted at 78. Sheppard, who scored a game-high 30 points, was doubled in the post, and he spun the ball out to the top of the key to a wide-open Harris, who drained the jumper for an 81-78 lead.
Fishburne (18-4) closed out the game going 4-for-4 at the line in the final minute.
“That’s a really good win over a really good team. We knew Massanutten was going to come in and give us their best shot,” FMS coach Ed Huckaby said. “I’m proud of our guys for their effort. We showed a lot of heart tonight.”
Massanutten came out of the gate hot, taking an early 9-4 lead on a trio of threes from Fleming, Fa’Teem Glenn and Christian Hansen. Huckaby called an early timeout to get his team’s attention, and make a defensive strategy switch.
“We needed to get some guys’ attention,” Huckaby said.
A pair of late three-pointers from Garrett Collins (6’5”, 190, Asheville, N.C.) pushed Fishburne to a 44-37 lead at the half. An old-fashioned three-point play by Sheppard gave the Caissons their biggest lead of the night at 51-39 at the 17:31 mark.
Massanutten went on a 17-5 run to tie the game at 56 with 11:54 to go on a three-pointer by Dimitri Sousa.
The game was a back-and-forth affair from there.
“We’re just telling ourselves to believe in what we’re doing, take good shots, play some defense, get some stops, and this one will be ours,” said Talley of the team’s attitude in the second half.
Talley added 25 points for Fishburne, which also got 15 from Harris.
Fleming led four MMA scorers in double figures with 22 points.
“This is a huge win for our team,” said Sheppard, “not just for our team, but for the cadets, the alums, everybody. This is a big rivalry game, so it was big for us to come out of here with a W. We just had to gut this one out.”