Columbia got out to an early 9-4 lead on a Drew Broome 3-pointer from the corner at the 3:02 mark of the opening quarter. Presbyterian scored five of the last seven points of the first quarter to even the score at 11-11 after one.
The Bobcats took their first lead of the game on their first possession of the quarter as Drew Deen grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to put PCS up 13-11. Christian Robbins returned the favor on Columbia’s end as the big man pulled down a Cougar miss and stuck it back in to tie things up at 13-13 with 6:09 remaining in the second quarter. The back and forth continued when a Bobcat free throw made it 14-13 but Columbia point guard Tanner Pace starting heating up. The junior converted on four straight field goals to put the Cougars up 21-14 with just over one minute left in the first half. Presbyterian’s Drew Dean canned a basket with 27 seconds left as the half ended with Columbia enjoying a 21-16 advantage.
(Above) Columbia's big man Christian Robbins (#0) affecting a late 4th quarter shot.
Columbia opened the second half with a Cole Oglesbee 3-pointer from the top of the key to push the lead out to 24-16. The Cougars maintained a 5 to 8 point lead throughout the quarter until the 1:38 mark when Presbyterian’s Mitchell Moore drained a 3-pointer from the wing to cut the deficit to 30-28. After Columbia’s Drew Broome hit two free-throws, PCS’s Gage Ganner hit a 3-pointer to tighten the game even more at 32-31 with one minute left in the third quarter. Cole Oglesbee made two free throws on the Columbia end as the half would end with Columbia clinging to a 34-31 lead.
Columbia center Christian Robbins was hit with his fourth foul just 27 seconds into the fourth quarter but that didn’t deter the Cougars as they increased their lead to 38-31 on a Cole Oglesbee baseline drive with 5:11 remaining.
The next 5:11 of the game is why coaches tend to age more rapidly than most.
Mitchell Moore hit a critical 3-pointer from the wing as Presbyterian trimmed the deficit to 38-34. After a Columbia turnover the Bobcat’s Dan Rust hit one of two free throws to pull PCS to within three points. Presbyterian fouled Columbia’s Tanner Pace putting him on the line for a 1&1 but Pace missed the front end. Oglesbee grabbed the offensive rebound and fed 6’10” Robbins who sank a turnaround in the paint and was fouled. Robbin’s free throw put the Cougars up 41-35 with three minutes remaining.
Presbyterian wasn’t going away as they nailed another 3-pointer. This time James Akers hit one from the corner with 2:38 left to keep within three points at 41-38.
The remaining 1:45 consisted of two turnovers by each team and with 21 seconds left Columbia felt a little comfort after Tanner Pace converted on 2 free throws and then with 13 seconds hit one of two to give the hosts a 44-38 advantage.
(Above) Columbia's Tanner Pace (#21) had a game high 15 points
Five seconds later Presbyterian’s Gage Ganner hit another 3-pointer from the corner to pull back to within three points at 44-41. Presbyterian immediately sent Columbia’s Cole Oglesbee to the line on a foul with 6 seconds left. Oglesbee converted on one of two for what should have been the nail in the coffin with a 45-41 lead. But with 2.3 seconds left Presbyterian’s James Akers was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer that nearly found its’ mark. Akers made the first two free throws to cut the lead to 45-43. On the final attempt Akers perfectly launched the ball hitting the front center of the rim and grabbed the rebound but a whistle blew and mass confusion ensued. Presbyterian was given possession of the ball under their basket with 1.8 seconds remaining and down two points but turned it over on a traveling call after inbounding the ball. With just 1 second showing on the clock Columbia had the ball under the Bobcat basket needing only to inbound the ball to end the game. The inbounds pass was thrown right into the hands of a Presbyterian player just beyond the top of the key who then launched a shot that missed at the buzzer.
(Above) Presbyterian's Hayden Eustachy flies to the rim
Tanner Pace led Columbia with 15 points, Drew Broome added 13, Cole Oglesbee had 8, Christian Robbins 7 and Jas Stringer had 2.
For Presbyterian Gage Ganner had 11 points, Mitchell Moore added 9, James Akers 7, Hunter Hawkins 5, Drew Deen 4, Dan Rust 3, and Cade Martin and Hayden Eustachy 2 each.
Columbia improved to 2-0 after the 45-43 thriller while Presbyterian fell to 1-1.