CARBONDALE — Carbondale’s defense kicked in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter and Mount Vernon had no answer for Darius Beane in overtime as the Terriers earned a 58-51 win at Mount Vernon.
The Terriers pushed their South Seven conference record to 7-1 with the win.
Mount Vernon controlled the tip in overtime and quickly got the ball to Weston Brockhouse in the paint. Brockhouse seemed to have a sure bucket, but Carbondale’s Zanidrelle Johnson came from nowhere to bat the ball away.
That defensive play set up Beane’s driving layup on the other end. Beane was fouled and converted the and one. That sequence pretty much summed up an overtime period in which Carbondale outscored Mount Vernon 14-7.
“I thought two big plays was 10 (Johnson) blocking Weston’s shots,” said Mount Vernon coach Doug Creel. “You get the ball right next to the rim and thought we were going to stick it in. He blocked both of them. Hey, just a couple plays here or there. We took the co-conference leader to overtime and we had chances.”
In the meantime, the Rams couldn’t keep Beane away from the rim in the overtime. The SIU-bound guard scored 10 of Carbondale’s 14 overtime points.
“I thought our kids showed a lot of strength down the stretch,” said Carbondale coach Jim Miller. “I thought it was a great collective effort, but Darius willed us to win tonight. He had a lot of help. I thought Jakeba Burleigh did a great job in the fourth quarter and the overtime. He got one big steal and two big buckets. He gave us a spark when we really needed a spark.”
Mount Vernon seemed to be in good shape late in regulation. Luke Cooper’s 3-pointer gave the Rams a 40-35 lead with 3:37 to play. The Rams barely had time to savor the five-point edge as Beane topped that shot with a trey of his own just nine seconds later.
Then, the Carbondale defense took over. Burleigh got a steal and a runout, and Johnson got the first of his two blocks on Brockhouse. In the meantime, the Terriers were solid on the boards during the final minutes of regulation.
“I thought we did a great job rebounding,” Miller said. “I think we only allowed two offensive rebounds tonight which is fantastic against a team of that caliber. It was all about the will to win tonight. I think Darius showed it.”
Carbondale’s defense and board work tipped the tempo in Carbondale’s favor the final few minutes of regulation and in overtime.
“That’s the one thing we stressed all week, you have to control the tempo,” Miller said. “How do you do that? You extend the defenses. You control the ball. You don’t allow dribble penetration. On the flip side, you push it. You want to rebound the basketball and push it. We were never allowed to get many stops consecutively, therefore we weren’t allowed to get many transition baskets. That frustrated some of our kids.”
That type of play created some breathing room for the Terriers in the final minute of overtime. Beane grabbed a defensive rebound with Carbondale protecting a 52-50 lead and found Johnson behind the defense for a runaway dunk.
“We did everything but win it,” Creel said. “They made some plays. Those two big blocks. Beane, we tried to double him, he split it and made a big shot in the lane. It was just the fact they had a guy that kind of took over.”
Beane led all scorers with 27 and Tavaris Macklin had 11.
Brockhouse scored 13 for Mount Vernon with Zach Williams and Amir Spann getting a dozen each.