The Motlow Bucks erased a nine-point deficit in the final five minutes, pulling into an 80-80 tie with 43 seconds remaining, before visiting Volunteer State scored the game’s final four points and won 84-80 Saturday afternoon at Copperweld Arena.
The Bucks (9-9, 4-6) saw their five-game winning streak end with the loss. Motlow will travel to Cleveland State Friday night and Chattanooga State Saturday afternoon. The next home game is Friday, Feb. 7, when Roane State visits. The following day the Bucks will host Walters State as part of Motlow’s homecoming activities.
Volunteer State (8-10, 4-6) took advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line, connecting on 21-26 attempts. Motlow got to the line 15 times, but made only eight of its attempts.
The Bucks started strong behind six first half 3-pointers, jumping out to a 13-4 lead in the first six minutes. The visiting Pioneers fought back though, taking their first lead at 23-21 with eight minutes to play in the first half. Intermission came with the Bucks leading 38-31.
Motlow’s last lead was 55-54 and came with 10:40 remaining in the game. From there the Pioneers went on a 17-7 run to lead 71-62 with 5:40 left to play. Dequon Miller then got hot for the Bucks, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers, and his two-point basket tied the score at 80 in the final minute.
Miller led the Bucks with 22 points, including five 3-pointers, and added five assists, four rebounds and a steal. Trey James had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Kytrel Williams scored 15 points and had four blocked shots and four rebounds, and Greg Mason added 13 points with four rebounds.
Jamaal Brantley scored 28 points for the Pioneers, with 20 coming in the first half. Cameron Brown added 17 points and Jerrod Jenkins scored 11, all in the second half.