Wisconsin-Parkside blew a 20-point lead in the second half, then rallied themselves at the end of regulation and overtime to defeat No. 14 Drury 90-88 in a Great Lakes Valley Conference thriller Saturday afternoon at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
The Rangers (7-3, 2-0) snapped the Panthers' 13-game home winning streak with the road victory, which looked improbable on both sides throughout the contest.
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First, there was Parkside racing off to a 46-28 lead at the half on the strength of 62 percent shooting (18 of 29) from the field. That lead grew to 20 points on a layup by Andy Mazurczak with 19:33 to go at 48-28.
But the Panthers (8-3, 2-1) began to chip away thanks to full-court pressure defense that helped produce 18 turnovers after halftime. Drury got it down to 10 (48-38) on Alex Hall's 3-pointer with 16:21 to go, and had it to two (52-50) after Hall's jumper with 11:29 left.
Parkside countered with a 7-0 run that pushed it back to nine at 61-52, and it was still nine when Jeremy Saffold's layup at 7:50 made it 63-54. But the Panthers had one last superb run left in them for regulation, as Lonnie Boga and Kameron Bundy drained two 3-pointers each in a span of 1:35, and suddenly, Drury was on top 79-72 after Bundy's bomb with 2:43 left.
And then here came the Rangers, holding DU scoreless the rest of regulation and finishing on a 7-0 run, capped by Nick Neari's layup with 41 seconds to go to tie it at 79. Parkside sweated out a final, potential game-winning possession by the Panthers when Brandon Lockhart's running 12-footer wouldn't fall, and neither would Josh Buie's desperation follow attempt inside at the horn.
It was back and forth in the extra period, with Drury leading 86-83 after Boga's layup with 2:50 left, but Safford bombing home a trey at 2:23 to counter and tie it at 86.
A Lockhart layup with 37 seconds remaining put the Panthers on top (88-86), but Parkside's Conrad Krutwig drained a high-arching 3-pointer from the left corner with seven ticks left to put the Rangers back on top by one (89-88).
On the game's most pivotal possession, Drury beat the Rangers pressure over the top and found Hall streaking downfloor near mid-court. But Hall - who had got open behind the UWP defense and appeared to have time to drive in for a game-winning layup or dunk - instead pulled up near the free-throw line for an awkward, underhanded layup attempt that bounced away and into the hands of Krutwig.
Krutwig made one free throw with two seconds left to make it 90-88, and Hall's desperation trey attempt from beyond half-court fell short at the final horn, signalling the end to one of the wilder games in The O' in its three-year history.
"Number one, you say congratulations to Wisconsin-Parkside," Drury coach Steve Hesser said. "They played harder, they shot better, they rebounded better ... the deal is, as collective as we were on Thursday night, we had zero collectivity today.
"We had zero collectivity this morning in shootarounds, and that's exactly how we played today in the first half. I'll give our guys credit ... they did a tremendous job of leaving some effort on the floor."
Hall led five Panthers in double-figures with 23 points, though he made just 5 of 16 attempts from 3-point range and 8 of 22 shots overall. Lockhart finished with 15 points, nine assists and four steals in 41 minutes, while Boga had 13 points (on 5-of-8 shooting) off the bench. Bundy and Drake Patterson finished with 10 points each.
"That's a tough one (to lose)," Hesser said. "As I told them in the locker room afterward, you don't get do-overs. You're playing at home and you don't get ready to play, obviously that falls back on my shoulders. We weren't ready to play this morning, and we weren't ready to play when we came out to start the game."
Saffold finished with 27 points and nine rebounds while Krutwig had 25 points for the Rangers, who shot a blistering 63 percent for the game (32 of 51) against a DU defense that was allowing opponents to shoot just 38 percent.
Parkside also beat the Panthers 34-24 on the boards, just the second time in 11 games this season that Drury has been outrebounded.
The Panthers played without their second leading scorer on the season, sophomore forward Cameron Adams, who's likely to miss up to three weeks with a calf injury suffered in Thursday night's victory over Lewis.
Drury goes out on the GLVC road for the first time this season next week, visiting No. 11 Indianapolis on Thursday and Saint Joseph's on Saturday.