QUINCY, Ill. — The Northeastern State men’s basketball team won the QU Holiday Tournament with a 72-71 victory over Truman State Wednesday night at Pepsi Arena.
Junior guard Bryton Hobbs scored the game-winning basket with 3.2 seconds to play as the RiverHawks were able to improve to 9-1 on the season. The Bulldogs fell to 4-5 overall.
Hobbs was named to the All-Tournament Team after finishing with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes. Senior guard Ethan Anderson dropped 10 for NSU.
Senior forward Jermaine Bransford was honored as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after he notched 23 points and 13 rebounds. He recorded the third double-double of his career, which have all come in the last four games.
Northeastern State never trailed in the first half and held as much as a 13-point cushion in the opening 20 minutes. The team took control of the game and went into the locker room with a 38-29 lead.
TSU dwindled the deficit down to 44-40 with 15:51 to play, but a quick 6-0 run pushed the lead back out to 10 for the RiverHawks.
Despite trailing by as much as 11 points in the second half, the Bulldogs were able to chip away until they took their first lead of 65-64 with 5:47 to play.
The lead exchanged hands on six occasions in the final 5:47, with the fifth time being on a Tom Norton three-point basket at 1:50 to give Truman State the 71-68 edge.
Bransford converted a layup coming out of a timeout, and two-straight empty possessions by TSU gave NSU the ball with 14 seconds remaining and trailing by one. Hobbs was able to penetrate the Bulldog zone and he nailed the game-winning jumper with 3.2 seconds left as the RiverHawks picked up their fourth-straight win.
Norton finished with 15 points, and the Bulldogs were led by Mike Carlson’s 22 points. Seth Jackson added 10 points.
Northeastern State will now break for the holidays, and the team will return home for a 7:30 p.m. tilt Jan. 3 with Fort Hays State.