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Sophomore Nicholas Smith (2015)

Men's Hoops takes down Melbourne
1/17/2016 12:16:00 PM

Men's Basketball (16-3) saw five starters score in double figures as they knocked top-ranked Melbourne (18-1) from the ranks of the undefeated with an 80-74 victory at Master's Academy. The Panthers trailed at the end of each of the first three quarters but utilized a 13-0 run at the outset of the fourth to take a 61-51 lead with 5:06 remaining. Daniel Love, who scored a team-high 24 points to go with six rebounds, gave DP its largest lead (13) with a driving layup at 2:26 but Melbourne roared back with an 8-0 run to cut DP's lead to 74-69 with under a minute to go. The Panthers were strong from the foul line in the closing minute, including a perfect 4-4 by sophomore Braxton Clark (ten points, five rebounds), and with nine seconds remaining, came up with the biggest defensive play of the night. Up 77-74, sophomore Je'Quan Burton picked up a steal and fed Daniel Love for the game-sealing bucket. Love played the entire fourth quarter with four fouls and contributed seven of his 24 points. Junior Nick Smith came alive in the second quarter with consecutive baskets to open the period, drained a huge three before the half and closed out with 16 points and seven rebounds. Senior Justin Tucker highlighted his 13 point, five rebound effort with a thundering two-handed dunk in the third quarter and sank critical free throws in the fourth. In addition to his outstanding defensive play in the final seconds, Je'Quan Burton scored 11 points, pulled down six rebounds, dished out six assists and registered five steals. Junior Hnric Murray buried a pair of critical threes in the fourth quarter to finish with six points and five rebounds. DP will now host rival Olympia Tuesday night in the House of Payne.

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