Patriots pull through with last minute point


Photo by: Logan Zeis

Alex Cox goes for the game winning point against the Young Harris Mountain Lions.

In a final steal with mere seconds left on the clock, the Patriots men’s basketball team defeated the Young Harris Mountain Lions 79-78 on Jan. 23 at the Smith University Center.

A standout in the game for making some key plays, points and the final game winning steal, junior guard Alex Cox led the Patriots to victory.

While Young Harris had held a slim lead over the Patriots for most of the first half, Cox had a fast break with less than 10 seconds to go in the first half, dunking the ball and tying up the score.

“We definitely needed the momentum going into halftime,” Cox said. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”

This play was not the only crucial moment of the game for Cox. Late in the second half, with only 13 seconds left on the clock, he stole the ball, broke away and made the layup to slide the Patriots’ score past the Mountain Lions by one point.

Junior forward Langston Gaither, sophomore forward Darius Dawson and junior forward Uhana Ochan also contributed pivotal plays that pushed the Patriots’ towards a victory.

Gaither scored 23 points for the Patriots, 13 of which were free throws. With three assists and one steal as well, Gaither laid the foundation for the Patriot offensive. Dawson contributed 10 points with two assists, and Ochan put up 10 points with three assists.

Altogether, Gaither, Dawson and Ochan put 43 points on the board; an impressive feat for relatively new additions to the Patriots.

It was a tough game, but the Patriots prevailed in the end. In comparison to previous games, this was the closest one score-wise. The Patriots earned their close win and want to carry this momentum into the rest of the season.

As the oldest returning player on the team, Cox believes that this bodes well for the future.

“I definitely think we’ll be better than last year; we have a lot of growing to do,” Cox said. “We’re figuring it out one game at a time, and if we keep growing, I think we’ll be straight for the end of the season.”