ANNAPOLIS -- Annapolis has been an up-and-down team in recent weeks. The Panthers were quite a bit of both last night, but survived a near-disastrous collapse in the waning minutes of regulation before dropping visiting and second-ranked Southern (Baltimore), 92-87, in overtime.
The No. 4 Panthers (16-3), who led most of the way, wasted a seven-point lead on turnovers and a technical foul in the last three minutes of regulation time. That enabled Southern (13-5) to rally and tie at 79 on David Cason's shot from 23 feet at the buzzer.
After Annapolis built a four-point lead at the start of overtime, the Panthers hit 11 of 13 free throws to hold the Bulldogs at bay.
"I have no comment about this game. Absolutely no comment," said Panthers coach John Brady, who was incensed over his team's play in the last 2 minutes, 52 seconds.
Annapolis had built a 76-69 lead, but then turned the ball over three straight times and missed three straight free throws. Also, Dennis Edwards was called for a technical for jamming the ball after play was whistled dead.
"I never heard the whistle. I never heard it," Edwards said, but that did little to mollify Brady.
Southern lost a game in which it had 34 field goals to Annapolis' 21. The difference came at the free-throw line, where the Panthers hit 30 of 44 attempts. Southern shot only 14 times, making six.
"I think there were some questionable calls out there, but we did a lot of things worse than usual," said Bulldogs coach Meredith Smith. "We didn't shoot well [34 of 97] and we missed the inside shots."
Annapolis, which had superb play from guards Rob Wooster (a game-high 26 points, 11 rebounds) and Gerard Hyman (12 points, seven assists) led, 26-25, at the quarter. The Panthers raised the margin to 43-40 at halftime and built their biggest lead, 68-59, with just over six minutes to play.
After barely surviving the last minutes of regulation, Annapolis jumped off in the overtime on Hyman's drive in the lane and two free throws by Edwards (16 points). Southern hung close on three-point goals by Damon Cason and Kwame Evans, but Annapolis made up the difference at the free-throw line.
Southern was led by David Cason's 22 points, 20 by Evans and 14 by Damon Cason. Among the 34 field goals were 13 three-point goals -- including four each by David Cason, Evans and Damon Cason.