Harding Bisons rally again to defeat North Alabama in OT

From Harding University

Harding scored 13 points in the final minute of regulation and came from behind again in overtime to defeat North Alabama 89-87 on Tuesday in non-conference men's basketball action at Flowers Hall.

It was Harding's second come-from-behind win this season when trailing by more than 10 points in the final three minutes of a game. The Bisons trailed by 14 with 2:48 left against West Alabama and came back to win.

Tuesday, Harding trailed by 11 points with 1:01 left when the fun began. Bison senior Sam Brown connected on a three-pointer with 45 seconds left to cut the lead to 75-67.

North Alabama's Beaumont Beasley, who missed his first 10 shots of the game, hit a jumper with 34 seconds remaining to put the Lions back up by nine.

With 30 ticks left, Harding's Stephen Blake hit three free throws after he was fouled attempting a three-pointer. A North Alabama turnover on the in-bounds pass gave the ball back to Harding, and Blake hit a three-pointer and was fouled. He made the free throw to cut the lead to 76-74 with 24 seconds left.

Harding fouled Trent McCants on the in-bounds, and McCants hit 1-of-2 free throws to give UNA a 77-74 lead, but Sam Brown struck again with four seconds to go to send the game into overtime.

In the extra period, North Alabama (3-6) again moved out to a four-point lead when Marcus Landry made a layup to put the Lions ahead 83-79 with 2:31 left.

Harding then went on a 10-2 run over the next two minutes. Bison senior Kirk Porter, who scored a season-high 22 points, converted a three-point play and hit a layup to jump-start the run. Freshman Weston Jameson then made a layup to put Harding ahead 86-85 with 43 seconds left. Harding made 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch.

Harding is 8-1 to start the season for only the third time in program history. The other two were the 1995-96 and 2008-09 seasons.

The Bisons had lost the last four meetings against the Lions in Florence. Harding's last road win over North Alabama was in 2005.

Porter made 9-of-15 from the field and added five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Sam Brown had 16 points and Blake added 13. Bradley Spencer and Kevin Brown had 10 each.

North Alabama's Ricky Davison led all scorers with 29 points.

Harding has defeated three GSC East Division opponents on the road this season.

The Bisons are back at home this weekend, hosting Missouri S&T on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Rhodes Field House.