ALBUQUERQUE, NM, Jan. 30, 2010
– With the Thunderbirds trailing by one with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game, the team put the ball in the hands of Antoine Agudio once again. Once again, he delivered, as he connected on a driving layup with 3.1 seconds on the clock to secure the win for Albuquerque, 115-113.
Agudio scored 30 points, 20 in the second half, to lead the Thunderbirds. Carlos Powell added 28 points for Albuquerque.
The Thunderbirds got out to a quick start, and led 32-25 at the end of the first quarter. The team’s lead was six at halftime (62-56), thanks in large part to 54.8% shooting at the break.
Albuquerque used a 16-2 run midway through the third quarter to push the lead to 16, and led 92-78 through three quarters of play.
Dakota opened the fourth quarter with a 12-3 run, and the T-Birds lead was just five with 8:52 remaining in the game.
The Thunderbirds led 108-102 with 2:00 minutes to play, but the Wizards would not go quietly. Three T-Birds turnovers led to seven points for Dakota, and the Wizards held a one point lead with 1:09 on the clock.
With the shot clock expiring on the T-Birds next possession, Agudio connected on a fadeaway from just inside the three point line to give the lead back to Albuquerque. The two teams traded free throws on the next two possessions, with Romel Beck making two for Dakota and Carlos Powell hitting two for Albuquerque. Connor Atchley of Dakota scored on a layup with 10.6 seconds left to give the one point lead back to Dakota, and the T-Birds called a timeout to draw up one final play.
The Thunderbirds went to the hot hand in Agudio, and he was able to split the defense and connect on an off-balance layup despite being fouled. He missed the ensuing free throw, but Albuquerque’s Kris Collins secured the rebound and added a free throw of his own to give the Thunderbirds the two point victory.
Kurt Looby notched yet another double double for Albuquerque, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Kevin Pittsnogle returned from injury to score 11 points for the Thunderbirds.
Maurice Baker led the way for Dakota with 23 points. Beck added 21 for the Wizards.
Albuquerque shot 51.9% for the game, while Dakota connected on 52.1%. The game featured three ties and six lead changes.