(New Orleans) The Dillard Bleu Devils battled back from an eighteen point lead but fell short late and lost to the Philander Smith Panthers 82-77 on Saturday night on the Battlefield in Dent Hall.
The Dillard Bleu Devils (0-4, 0-14) showed amazing resiliency, coming back from a fourteen point half time deficit and eighteen point second half deficit to regain the lead on the Panthers (2-2, 5-11) before falling late.
The Bleu Devils started off sluggish to begin the game, failing behind early against the Panthers. The Bleu Devils had no answers for Philander Smith's up and down attack, unable to find any rhythm on offense. The Panthers used solid outside shooting and transition buckets to gain the first half advantage on the Bleu Devils, going into halftime up fourteen at 48-34.
In the second half, the Bleu Devils fell behind by seventeen points before slowly chipping away at the Panthers lead. The Bleu Devils' begin to play mistake free on offense, while forcing turnovers playing team defense. Late in the second half, the Bleu Devils' tied the game at 69-69 with just under five minutes remaining in the game. Following a basket by the Bleu Devils' Lance Theard, the Bleu Devils had completed their comeback and taken a 75-73 lead. Philander Smith quickly responded with a three-pointer to regain the lead, but the Bleu Devils keep their composure and tied the game once again on one free-three by Zachary Harmon. Philander Smith went back up by two points with 33 seconds remaining at 78-76 and the Bleu Devils missed a three-pointer as time winded down that would have sent the game to overtime. Philander Smith hit two free throws to squeak out the victory.
Myron McGowan led the Bleu Devils with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Zachary Harmon recorded his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Bleu Devils. Lance Theard and Devonte Fernandez had 14 and 13 points respectively for the Bleu Devils.
The Dillard Bleu Devils will be back in action on MLK Day, Monday, January 16th versus Edward Waters College on the Battlefield in Dent Hall. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30p.m.