INA -- A nine-point deficit with 91 seconds left.
The John A. Logan College men's basketball team found itself in that predicament Wednesday night at Rend Lake but then found a way to force overtime and overtake the Warriors, 96-94, for a Great Rivers Athletic Conference road victory.
"We just weren't playing as hard as we needed to and then that 90-second mark hit and all of a sudden we turn a flame on and it's a brand new team," said Logan coach Kyle Smithpeters, who was both pleased and perturbed after his team's performance. "That's the way we've been playing. Sometimes that happens with a young, new team."
The Warriors (1-7, 0-3) were ahead 74-65 after a layup by Delvonte McCloud and the Volunteers cut into that with 1:31 left on a pair of free throws by Derek Hawthorne Jr.
Logan (7-1, 2-1) forced a 10-second backcourt turnover and Antwan Campbell scored to make it a four-point game, then the Vols got some help when Juwan Moore missed a pair of free throws and Rend Lake turned over the rebound.
A floater by Ronnie Carson pulled the Vols within 74-72 with a minute remaining and more help came when McCloud split a pair to keep it a one-possession margin.
Carson drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game with 35.1 left and Moore gave Rend Lake the lead again with a sick baseline floater with 12.3 on the clock but Carson drove the lane and passed to Hawthorne for a jumper with 2.9 that sent the game to overtime.
"The sad thing is the last 90 seconds of (regulation) is how we should've played for the first (38) minutes and we probably would've been OK," Smithpeters said. "But you have to tip your hat to (the Warriors) for the way they approached it and handled themselves."
After trading baskets to start overtime, a steal and layup by Logan's Jaiveon Eaves put the Vols ahead to stay. Free throws by Carson and Eaves followed and a first dagger came when David Sloan dropped a nifty pass to Vonnie Patterson for a layup.
Another steal and layup, this time by Carson, and another Patterson layup off an assist from Carson made it 90-83 with a minute left in the extra four-minute period.
Rend Lake stayed close with three 3-pointers by Moore but the Volunteers held on -- even after Sloan missed three free throws with 2.8 remaining.
Sloan more than did his part though with 26 points and 10 assists. Carson aded 17 points, Eaves finished with 15 and Hawthorne had 11. Melo Burrell gave Logan a fifth player in double figures with 10. Patterson had eight and Jonah Jackson had six.
Marion's Justin Shadowens played the final four minutes of the first half but did not see the court in the second half.
McCloud led Rend Lake with 23 points and Moore had 20. David Hunt had 17 and Jordan Doss had 10. Zen Goodridge put in eight. Carterville product Austin Swalls had four points.
Logan led 38-32 at the half, but Rend Lake went on a run and took its first lead at 48-47 on a Moore layup with 13 minutes left. The Warriors led by double figures at 62-52 on a triple by Doss at the 8:10 mark.
"They had a great game plan," Smithpeters said. "They bothered our guys. They went inside and kept driving us through the lane and we didn't do a good job of stepping up. ... We can't give up that many points. That's not what we've been doing the first seven games of the year."
The Volunteers have lost just one game -- and that was on a buzzer-beating putback in overtime at Shawnee -- with just one returning player (Aaron Twist) on the roster this season.
"At the end of the day," Smithpeters said after rattling off a list of bothers, "with having 13 new guys and we're sitting here at 7-1, I'm ecstatic about that. We can fix those things on the floor very easily."
Logan plays at Lewis & Clark on Saturday afternoon, then is off until Dec. 9 when it hosts Southeastern Illinois College.