OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Senior Michael Byrd totaled 13 points and hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 51 seconds left as Stevenson University downed Lebanon Valley College 74-71 in MAC Commonwealth men's basketball Wednesday night at Owings Mills Gymnasium.
Byrd finished 5-7 from the floor for Stevenson (4-18, 2-8 MAC Commonwealth), including 2-3 behind the arc, to finish one point shy of his career high. He also had five rebounds and three steals. The Mustangs were led by freshman Cameron Hayes, who totaled 20 points and six rebounds. Junior Cliff Cornish and freshman Ben Wiebusch each added 11 points, with Cornish also notching seven boards. Freshman Kyle Wooldridge chipped in eight points and seven rebounds.
Lebanon Valley (11-8, 5-5 MAC Commonwealth) got a combined 58 points from Sam Light and Andy Orr. Light tallied 36 points, while Orr finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Stevenson, which trailed 52-45 with just over 12 minutes left, found itself down 70-69 with just over a minute to go following a pair of free throws by LVC's Will Boccanfuso. On Stevenson's next trip down the floor, Cornish found Byrd wide open in the left corner and his high-arcing three found the bottom of the net to give the Mustangs a two-point cushion with 51 ticks on the clock.
Byrd fouled out on LVC's next possession, as he fouled Marquis Davis up top with 36 seconds to go. Davis made 1-of-2 at the line, and on the ensuing Mustang trip, a 15-footer on the left baseline by Wiebusch made it 74-71 with 8.9 seconds left. After each team used a timeout, a quick three attempt by Light was off the mark and Cornish grabbed the rebound to seal the win.
The Mustangs trailed by seven but used an 11-2 run capped by a Hayes basket with 9:47 left that gave the hosts a 56-54 lead. From there, the lead changed hands 10 times and the game saw eight ties, with neither team leading by more than four. Stevenson built a 66-62 lead with 3:24 to go, but four straight points by Light erased that.
After being deadlocked 34-34 at halftime, Lebanon Valley opened up a 44-39 lead with 15:36 left before six straight points by Stevenson gave it a 45-44 advantage with 14:43 left on a Wooldridge trifecta. From there, eight straight points by the Dutchmen gave the guests a 52-45 lead.
The lead changed hands seven times in the opening 20 minutes, but a 7-0 Stevenson run gave it a 22-16 lead with 5:49 left before halftime on a Hayes three-pointer. Lebanon Valley countered with a 10-4 spurt and a pair of Light free throws with 2:35 on the clock tied the game 26-26, before five straight points by Wiebusch made it a 31-26 game with 1:45 to go. Light hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer from near midcourt as time expired and was fouled, but failed to make the free throw, and the two teams went into intermission tied 34-34.
The game saw a total of 21 lead changes and 15 ties. The Mustangs shot 43.1% overall and 6-19 from three-point land and were able to overcome Lebanon Valley taking twice as many free throws. The guests went 24-36 at the free throw line while Stevenson was 12-18, but LVC connected on just three of its 14 three-point attempts and was 22-55 (40%) overall for the game. The Mustangs outrebounded the Dutchmen 42-38 and had 15 assists on their 28 baskets, while just eight of Lebanon Valley's 22 baskets had an assist.
Stevenson returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Albright College for a 2:00 MAC Commonwealth contest.
Head Coach Gary Stewart talks about tonight's big win over conference foe Lebanon Valley.