Ben Bray sank three 3-pointers against Shelbyville on Friday and two of them were buzzer beaters. One came at the end of the 3rd to tie the score and the other came at the end of regulation for the win, 57-54.
Like a Rocky Balboa/Apollo Creed fight, the Ram and Raiders went toe-to-toe for the full 32:00. Shelby started strong leading 15-6, before A&M closed the gap at the end of the 1st, down by six, 17-11.
A&M kept the momentum and made a 3-point game at the half, 31-28 Rams. A&M took the 3rd and forced a 40-40 tie on the long 3-point buzzer beater by Bray. A&M finally took the lead in the 4th, 42-40, then 43-40, before Bray nailed his second of three 3s, 46-40.
Central A&M had had a 14-0 run from trailing 40-32 in the 3rd until up 46-40 in the 4th. Down 48-42, the Rams chipped away to trail 48-46. They trailed 50-46, but tied the game at 51-51.
Trent Chepan, who led all scorers with 20 points, gave A&M the lead, 53-51. Brett Peifer answered, but was called for an offensive foul to erase the tie. Bray made it 54-51 with 46 seconds left in the game.
Cwenton Williams, who finished with 11 points for the Rams split a pair at the line, then Chepan missed two free throws, leaving the door open for Shelby with 30 seconds left, 54-52.
Luke McConnell, who led Shelby with 17 points and 14 boards, missed a shot, got his own rebound and put it in for the tie with 8.9 seconds left, 54-54. Shelby ran a full-court man-to-man, but couldn’t keep Bray from launching a shot just across the 10 second line and making the winning triple at the buzzer, 57-54.
Central A&M 57, Shelbyville 54
Ram stats: McConnell 17 (8 FGs, 1/1 FTs), 14 rebounds, steal, block; C. Williams 11 (2-2s, 2-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), 2 rebounds, 2 steals; Peifer 6 (3 FGs), 4 rebound, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks; Peterson 5 (5/6 FTs), 2 rebounds, assist; Shadwell 5 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs, 0/2 FTs), 1 rebound, 1 assist; Martin 5 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs), 2 rebounds, assist, steal; Z. Williams 3 (FG), 1 rebound, 2 assists; Tice Robinson 2 (FG), 1 rebound, 1 assist; Bart Kennell rebound, block. Team FGs 21. 3-Pointers: 5 (C. Williams 2, Shadwell, Martin, Z. Williams). Team FTs 7-of-11.
A&M stats: Chepan 20 (8 FGs, 4/8 FTs), Miller 14 (6 FGs, 2/5 FTs), Bray 11 (3-3 pt FGs, 2/5 FTs), Richardson 6 (2 FGs, 2/2 FTs), Bugg 2 (FG), Dooley 2 (FG), Bagley 2 (FG). Team FGs 22. 3-Pointers: 3 (Bray 3). Team FTs 10-of-20.