01/19/13 — Trojans winless no more, knock off Warriors, 64-60, in ECC action

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Trojans winless no more, knock off Warriors, 64-60, in ECC action

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 19, 2013 11:38 PM

South Johnston stayed patient.

Eastern Wayne lost its composure.

D.J. Collins drained two free throws with 10.1 seconds left and the Trojans stunned the Warriors, 64-60, for their first victory in 12 outings this season on Friday evening.

"We finally caught a ray of sunlight through a crack in the lens or something," South Johnston head coach David Dewey said. "This one was nice. They played great. I'm very proud of them, they hung in there (and) hit their free throws."

Alan Johnson poured in a game-high 18 points, including a 12 of 14 effort from the free throw line for South Johnston. Collins and Will Holmes provided 15 points apiece.

Starting guard Dayshawn Pridgen and Micah Smith scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Warriors. Jamal Shuford and Malik Richard added seven points apiece.

"That was a tough loss for us, tough loss," first-year Eastern Wayne head coach Glen Darden said. "I'm not taking anything away from South Johnston, they came in here and they did what they had to do (to win) and saw the results on the scoreboard."

The Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference affair had just six ties and 20 lead changes. Neither team held more than a two-possession lead throughout the first half and entered intermission deadlocked at 28-all.

Eastern Wayne (6-12 overall, 2-4 ECC) finally created some breathing room in the third period.

Pridgen and reserve Jamal Shuford each buried a 3-pointer during an 11-2 run that broke a 33-33 tie and put the Warriors in front 44-35.

The Trojans burned a timeout.

"We told them just one shot at a time," Dewey said. "There are no nine-point plays. Just take it easy and everything is going to be all right. We got good offensive sets and made baskets."

South Johnston (1-11, 1-4 ECC) answered with a 10-0 run that ended when Collins' heaved a 3-pointer past midcourt that banked off the glass and fell through the net as the buzzer sounded.

The teams traded leads throughout the final period.

The Warriors' Jaelen Johnson hit the front end of a two-shot foul, which forged a 56-56 tie around the one-minute mark. Johnson hit four consecutive free throws after Eastern Wayne failed to convert a pair of offensive possessions.

Shuford closed the gap to 60-59 with his second 3-pointer of the evening, but Johnson and Collins shut the door at the free throw line.

"My guys get out of synch, we just don't get in transition and we don't move the ball well," Darden said. "We didn't do it (down the stretch). But, I say every week that we're going to be OK. We're going to live to fight another day."