DANVILLE, Va. – Justin Pierce's three-pointer with 52 seconds left broke a 75-75 tie and sent host Averett University to an 82-77 nonconference basketball win over Guilford College.
Pierce finished with a game-high 26 points for the Cougars (2-1), who topped the Quakers (2-1) for the first time since 2006.
Averett shot better than 54 percent from the floor in the first half and opened a 51-42 lead at the break. The Cougars led by as many as 12 in the second half and had a 70-59 edge with 8:05 to play after consecutive buckets by Pierce.
A 12-0 Quakers' run over the next four minutes gave Guilford a 71-70 lead and set the stage for a dramatic finish. Sunil Ram's three-pointer with 1:41 remaining put Averett ahead, 75-73, but Guilford countered with two Will Freeman free throws that tied the score at 75. With the shot clock winding down, Pierce hit a three-pointer that gave Averett the lead for good. Bradley Robinson and Ram helped seal the win by both making two free throws in the final 17 seconds.
Pierce added six assists and two steals in Averett's victory. Ram tallied 16 points and Marquis Scott contributed a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Paul Porter also had a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards off the bench. Jacolby Hawkins finished with 10 points. Averett outrebounded Guilford, 46-35, and had 20 offensive rebounds that led to 19 points.
Josh Pittman paced the Quakers with 16 points, including four three-pointers. Freeman scored 13 points and Jake Hopkins matched his career best with 12, 10 in the second half. Travis Tracy had 10 points and five steals for Guilford.
Coach Tom Palombo's team Quakers open Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) play Nov. 28 versus visiting Eastern Mennonite University at 7:30 p.m.