Flames burn Eagles in another close one, 48-44

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2001

[12/04/01]University Christian’s Wes Prather scored seven of his game-high 25 points in the last 21/2 minutes to help the Flames beat Porters Chapel on Monday, but the Eagles beat themselves long before that.

PCA (1-7) committed 33 turnovers, hit only 6 of 16 free throw attempts and was a woeful 6-for-22 shooting in the paint during the 48-44 loss. It’s the second time in three games that PCA has lost by less than five points to top-notch competition.

“We want to start blaming somebody, we need to start in our own backyard,” PCA coach Roger Browning said. “I guarantee we missed 40, 50 points in the paint … .”

PCA outrebounded the Flames 37-15, but struggled to put back missed shots and often turned the ball over when they brought the ball up the floor.

That allowed University Christian (6-1) to overcome its poor shooting (34 percent).

“It’s not necessarily that they were doing anything. We weren’t prepared to play tonight and we didn’t show at all what we’re capable of,” said UC coach Jeremy Bowen, whose team advanced to the Academy-A final last season.

UC led 21-18 at halftime, but went on an 8-0 run over the last 3:07 of the third quarter to extend the lead to 10 points, 38-28.

With about six minutes to play, PCA’s Andrew Embry hit a 3-pointer to cut it to 38-31, then banked in a leaning jumper on the Eagles’ next possession to trigger an 8-0 PCA run. Ryan Hoben’s driving layup capped the run and cut it to 38-36 with about 2:30 to play.

Then Prather took over.

He hit a pull-up jumper and four free throws to keep UC ahead. After PCA’s Tyler Ellis hit a 3-pointer to cut it to 47-44 with less than 30 seconds to play, Prather hit one free throw with less than 10 seconds to go to seal it.

“It was a tough win,” said Prather, who missed part of the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.

For the Eagles, it was just another frustrating loss.

Ellis, who finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and four steals, said, “It seems like sometimes we get satisfied with close games, and after tonight, I don’t think anybody’s satisfied anymore.”

Joseph Ivey also had 13 points and eight rebounds for PCA, while Hoben had 11 rebounds and Embry had 11 points before fouling out with 3:16 to play.

UC’s Glenn Ulrich had 10 points.

“We’re so far ahead of last year, it’s unbelievable. This team beat us by 50 last year,” Browning said. “We’re just a few adjustments away from being a very good … team.”

(G) PCA 72, UC 21

The Lady Eagles dominated from the beginning, opening the game with a 19-0 run before emptying the bench and cruising to the win against the outmanned Flames.

Jessica Lord led PCA with 19 points and seven rebounds, K.K. Willis added 16 points, Lindsey McCool and Kayla Barnette each scored eight and Allison Horn had seven points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Nicole Gary led UC (1-8) with nine points, while Susanna Wersler added eight points and five rebounds. The Flames have only eight players on the roster, five of them sophomores.

PCA pulled most of its starters by the end of the first quarter, but the bench never let UC come close to getting back in the game. Led by Lord, PCA’s reserves scored 40.

“I saw a lot of good passes, people seeing the floor real good. Allison Horn made some great passes,” PCA coach Mitchell Willis said. “We gained some confidence.”