Vikings Fall at Piedmont in Overtime Thriller, 98-94

Vikings Fall at Piedmont in Overtime Thriller, 98-94

Berry College guard Michael Schulte scored a career high 24 points and Lake Graham recorded a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, but Piedmont rallied from a 12-point second half deficit to defeat the Vikings 98-94 in overtime in a men's basketball game in Demorest, Ga., Tuesday.

The game looked like it was destined to end in regulation, but Berry's Nasser Almulla sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer with five seconds to play in regulation. 

Berry led for most of the game, taking an 8-6 lead on a pair of free throws by Almulla less than four minutes into the contest. The Vikings would extend the lead to as many as 11 points in the first half  before taking a 37-28 lead into halftime.

Berry (0-16) would hold the lead for most of the second half, extending its advantage to 12 points when Almulla hit a 3-pointer with 15:41 left to play that made the scrore 50-38 and gave the Vikings hope of ending its streak of 15 straight losses to open the season.

Piedmont (4-12) would begin to claw back into the contest, eventually tying the score 72-72 when Dylan Delaney hit a 3-pointer with 2:01 on the clock.  

After Berry's Mac Whalen hit a pair of free throws at the 1:34 mark, the Lions' Kyle Lundberg tied the score again with a drive to the basket that made the score 74-74 with 1:23 left.

Twenty three seconds later, Graham was fouled by Richarson Myrthil and hit one-of-two attempts from the free throw line to give the Vikes a one-pont advantage. 

But Myrthil answered with back-to-back layups to put Piedmont ahead with 27 seconds remaining.

On the next possession, Almulla missed a jump shot, but the Vikings retained possession when the ball was knocked out of bounds by a Piedmont player. When the ball went inside to Graham, Myrthil committed a foul, sending the 6-foor-8 forward back to the line.

This time, Graham hit both shots, pulling the Vikings to within 78-77 with 14 seconds remaining.

Berry fouled on the inbounds pass, allowing Delaney to go to the line, where he hit both attempts and gave the Lions a 3-point lead and setting up Almulla's game-tying jumper that sent the contest into overtime.

Piedmont would score eight of the first 10 points in overtime, only to have Berry fight back to within three points on two occasions in the extra frame.  However, the Vikings couldn't complete the comeback.

Almulla scored 19 points and Whalen chipped in 12 for the Vikings.  Almulla also grabbed six rebounds, collected four steals and dished out three assists.

Delaney led six Lions in double figures with 19 points.

The contest was reminiscent of last season's contest between the two teams in Demorest, which Berry won 100-93 in overtime after surviving a furious comeback bid by Piedmont.

Berry is scheduled to return to action Jan. 23 at Shorter.

- -