Ottumwa -- Indian Hills squandered a late seven-point lead allowing Howard College to force overtime, then the Warriors scored the first six points of the extra session and held off the visitors for a 94-89 win at the Hellyer Center on Friday night in the Bowling RV Classic. It was the 38th consecutive home victory for the Warriors, who bounced back after suffering their initial loss of the season at Coffeyville in their previous contest.
IHCC's Torrey Patton got the scoring started in OT with a three-point play. Patton poured in 18 points while seeing his first action of the season. Iziah James, who also scored 18 points, followed with a pair of free throws and Billy Thomas split a pair of foul shots to give IHCC an 87-81 advantage. Howard fought back to within three points twice in overtime, but Tomas Woldetensae nailed it down with three free throws in the final minute. Woldetensae led Indian Hills with a career-best 22 points.
The fact that the game went to OT was a credit to Matt Johnson of Howard, who trailed 81-74 with 1:18 to play in regulation. The Hawks, undefeated at 6-0 entering the game, were down seven after James drained two free throws. But Johnson nailed a two-point field goal and a 3-pointer. Following an IHCC turnover, the sophomore guard went to the line with 4.3 seconds remaining and hit both foul shots to even the score at 81-all. A desperation heave by James at the buzzer was off line and the teams played an extra five minutes.
It was a close game throughout with the Warriors on top by a single point at intermission thanks to two Devontae Lane free throws in the last minute of the opening half. Back-to-back threes by Patton and Woldetensae put IHCC up 51-40 in the second half, their largest lead of the night. The Warriors matched that margin at 58-47, before the Hawks clawed back to finally tie the score at 67-all on two free throws by Garrick Green with 5:21 to play. It was Patton who gave Indian Hills the lead with the next field goal and Thomas followed with a 3-pointer. The lead eventually grew to seven and that's when Howard mounted one final comeback.
JD Muila was the third IHCC player, along with James and Patton, to score 18 points.
Johnson topped Howard with 24, Jake Heese added 21 and Green had 20.
Indian Hills used a big disparity in free throws attempted to its advantage, hitting 27-of-41 to 8-of-10 for the Hawks. Howard made 15 3-pointers and the Warriors 11, four by Woldetensae.
IHCC takes on Northeastern Oklahoma A&M on Saturday night. NEO took down Ellsworth, 93-86, in Friday's first game.
INDIAN HILLS 94, HOWARD 89 (OT)
INDIAN HILLS (3-1)
Devontae Lane 1 3-3 5, Lance Singh 0 4-4 4, Billy Thomas 3 1-2 9, Iziah James 4 7-8 18, Nick Wagner 0 0-0 0, Tomas Woldetensae 7 4-7 22, Josh Nicholas 0 0-0 0, Tajim Smith 0 0-0 0, JD Muila 8 2-10 18, Anthony Bratton 0 0-0 0, Torrey Patton 4 6-7 18 Team 28 27-41 94
Garrick Green 8 2-2 20, Jake Heese 8 0-0 21, Matt Johnson 8 4-4 24, Malcolm Green 4 0-0 9, Mike Harden 0 0-0 0, Mic'kael Foust 1 1-2 3, Caleb Stokes 0 0-0 0, Gonzalo Munoz 1 0-0 3, Eric Reed 3 1-2 9, Lou Despanie 0 0-0 0, Latrell Alfred 0 0-0 0 Team 33 8-10 89
Halftime score: IHCC 35, Howard 34; Three-point field goals: IHCC 11 (Woldetensae 4, James 3, Thomas 2, Patton 2), HC 15 (Heese 5, Johnson 4, G. Green 2, Reed 2, Munoz 1, M. Green 1)