Chargers Fall to 1st-Place Cougars 74-70 in Overtime

Feb. 2, 2013
GALESBURG—The Carl Sandburg College men’s basketball team nearly handed Highland its first Arrowhead Conference loss but fell to the Cougars 74-70 in overtime Saturday at John M. Lewis Gymnasium.
 

The 21st-ranked Chargers (15-8, 4-3) took a 65-62 lead in overtime thanks to two free throws by freshman guard Juwan Hubbard (Rockford, Ill./Guilford) and a jumper from freshman forward Mitch Wendling (Athens, Ill./Athens), but the Cougars (18-2, 7-0) scored the next eight to go ahead for good.
 

The game featured seven ties and 15 lead changes. Down 30-29 at halftime, the Chargers scored 11 of the first 13 in the second half for a 40-32 advantage — the largest lead of the game for either team — with 15:58 to go in regulation.
 

Trailing 61-57 in the final minute of the second half, Sandburg forced overtime with a drive by Hubbard and a baseline jumper from freshman forward Aaron Powers (Springfield, Ill./Lanphier) with :14.1 to go.

Powers led the Chargers with 18 points and Hubbard added 17 points. Sophomore guard Seth Wickert (Macomb, Ill./Macomb) scored 13 before fouling out in overtime.
 

Highland swingman Patrick Onwenu, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Texas Southern, scored a game-high 31. Demetrius Tolliver scored 15 and Jerel Williams added 11 points for the Cougars.
 

“We played about as hard as we could, but when we let their big guy post up three feet from the basket he’s hard to stop,” Chargers coach Ryan Twaddle said. “We needed to make him earn his points more than we did.”
 

Sandburg’s next game is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Sauk Valley. The Chargers’ next home game is 7:30 p.m. Thursday against Black Hawk East.
 

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Aaron Powers