CARTERVILLE — Quanttel Denson’s 3-pointer with 42 seconds left stopped a John A. Logan second-half rally as Mineral Area College beat the Volunteers, 75-70, on Wednesday in a nonconference juco action.

“It wasn’t the plan for me to take that shot,” Denson said. “I got a good pass from Shaquille (Boga), who was open, but he wasn’t hitting at that time, so he gave it to me.”

Logan (2-1) fought back from a 14-point first-half deficit to take the lead, 67-66, with 2:16 remaining, only to see Denson’s third 3-pointer break a 68-all tie to hand the Vols their first loss.

“We’re young with a lot of areas to improve upon, but our guys played very hard to get back into the game,” said Logan coach Kyle Smithpeters. “A lot of teams would have folded, but our guys had a lot of fight in them. If a couple of things go our way, we are probably talking about a win.”

The Vols shot 37 percent from the field in the first half, but found their shooting eye in the second half, blistering the nets at a 65-percent clip to climb back into the game.

Mineral Area (3-0) shot 42 percent from the field, including 5-of-11 from the 3-point line to build the 14-point lead. The Vols closed the gap to eight with 28 seconds left, but a 3-pointer by Fred Garmon from the top of the key with 2.2 seconds remaining gave the Cardinals an 11-point halftime lead.

In the second half, the Vols kept chipping away, pulling within three points on an offensive rebound by Kaylen Shane, but Denson swished his second from behind the arc to stop the rally.

Connor Wheeler hit Logan’s only 3-pointer, only to have Garmon hit a spinning jumper followed by a 3-pointer to take an eight-point lead. James Williams sunk a driving layup, but another 3-pointer by Jay Raulston extended the lead to nine.

The Vols again cut the lead to three, only to have Leon Watkins swish one from long distance, followed by a jumper and a free throw by Raulston to give the Cardinals another nine-point lead with 8:25 left.

The Vols went on a 14-4 run, ending with a pair of free throws by DeVaughn Johnson with 2:16 left. However, a pair of free throws by Watkins took the lead back for the Cardinals.

Wheeler was fouled with 1:13 left in the game, but the former Du Quoin and Carbondale star missed his first free throw and made his second to tie the score at 68.

“Tonight was a test of our guys’ toughness,” said Mineral Area coach Corey Tate. “We hit some shots when we needed them the most.”

Jay Johnston led the Vols with 21 points and 17 rebounds. Boga came off the bench to lead the Cardinals with 17 points. Denson finished with 14.

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