In a game so tightly contested, it was fitting that the final shot was just inches short. Paine College junior Julian English's three-quarter court heave struck the front of the rim, allowing Miles College to escape Carter Gymnasium with a 46-45 win Saturday.
"It was going in," English said. "I had faith in that one, but it fell a little bit short."
Paine College (6-11, 5-9 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) missed several opportunities to take control of a game that never saw a double-digit lead .
"I think a lot of it has to do with maturity," said Lions coach Ron Spry. "Some games we play really well and other games we don't. Hopefully by the end of the season we'll be where we want to be."
Miles (6-11, 5-9 ) came into the game as the SIAC's second-highest scoring team.
The 46-point output was their lowest this season. Paine shut down Division II's seventh highest scorer, Flawaan Flaggs. Flaggs, who entered the game averaging 22.5 points per game, struggled throughout and finished with just one point.
"It was a tough game; a close game," Miles coach Christopher Giles said. "Coach Spry has a style that's really hard to play against. They like to grind it out and we're not used to grinding it out. We're more of an up-tempo team."
Clive Castell did his best to fill the void for the Golden Bears . The Miles' center disrupted Paine's interior offense and he scored 15 points .
"We should have done a better job in the post. (Castell) got a lot of points down low that he should never get," said English, who finished with 14 points.
Paine was led on offense by Donald Harris with 20 points. The sophomore's play in the first half helped keep the Lions in the game. He scored 10 of his team's 16 points before halftime.
Miles' Leon McKinney led all scorers with 19. He made all four of his 3-pointers in the second half, most coming just as it appeared Paine was starting to steal some of the momentum.
The Lions had won four of their past seven games prior to Saturday's loss.
The win ends a two-game skid for the Golden Bears.
Reach Joey Jones at (706) 724-0851 or email@example.com.