The MSJC men's basketball team lost a thriller Wednesday night at Chaffey College 104-96 in overtime causing a log jam a top the Foothill Conference with one regular season game remaining.
The Eagles got 32 points from Lee Stephens and built a 10 point halftime lead before the hot shooting of the Panthers forced overtime. With the Eagles ahead by one with 20 seconds remaining they missed a shot at the end of the shot clock that was rebounded by Chaffey. After a Panther timeout Winston Robinson hit a jump shot to put Chaffey ahead by one with 3 seconds to play. On the ensuing in bounds play, the Eagles turned the ball over and were forced to foul, but one of the Chaffey players ran off the bench and onto the court to celebrate with 1.7 seconds left. Chaffey's bench was assessed a technical foul. Mark Williams stepped to the line and hit both free throws putting MSJC back up by one. Then after the confusion Jamal Sloan made 1 of 2 free throws for Chaffey forcing overtime.
In the overtime period MSJC jumped ahead by four, but then were unable to convert on shots down the stretch and were forced to foul. Chaffey nailed their free throws to secure the win. On the night both teams shot the ball extremely well with Chaffey shooting 55% from the floor, 40% from three point range, and the Eagles shooting 49% overall and 45% from beyond the arc.
The loss dropped the Eagles to 25-6 overall and 9-4 in conference play, but more importantly moved them into a first place tie with three other teams. With one game remaining in the regular season the Eagles are now tied with San Bernardino, Desert, and Antelope Valley for the conference crown.
MSJC hosts Rio Hondo Saturday February 23rd at 3 pm. A victory at home means a conference championship for the Eagles.