Western used the 3-pointer to their advantage early in the game. The Doves used two 3s from Pollard and another from Walton to score nine of their first 11 points and build an 11-2 lead. Poly managed to rally late in the first quarter, using a 3 from Brashae Rice to cut the lead to 12-7, but the Doves went on an 8-2 run to build the lead to 20-9 with 5:59 left in the third quarter.
“Throughout the early part of the game we worked on minimizing our mistakes,” Walton said. “We gave it all we had, and we took advantage of their mistakes.”
The Engineers used Townes’ dynamic inside game to go on a run of their own toward the end of the first half. Townes scored seven of Poly’s 13 points in a 13-5 run to end the half. The Engineers only trailed 25-22 at the break.
Poly continued to narrow the lead early in the second half, and the Engineers took their only lead, 33-32, on a 3-pointer by Townes with 4:08 left in the third quarter. The lead lasted just 29 seconds before Vashae Rideout hit a free throw to tie the game. The Doves never trailed again.
“We knew it would be a tough competition, because they are a good team,” Pollard said. “We let them come crawling back in, and then we knew we had to get to work.”
That’s exactly what the Doves did. They outscored Poly 9-3 for the quarter and 27-19 the rest of the way to take the victory.
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