Tyler Evans helped the Hood men’s basketball team keep pace with a hot-shooting Southern Virginia squad, and a driving layup by Mason Wang with 3 seconds left gave the Blazers a 93-91 win on Friday, the first night of the MMI Tip Off Tournament.
Evans scored a career-high 27 points, easily surpassing his previous career-best of 12.
Wang came on strong down the stretch, scoring the Blazers’ final nine points to finish with 26.
His heroics capped off a comeback from a double-digit deficit. Hood trailed 66-53 with 14:18 to go after Brycen Harris knocked down a pair of free throws. Evans scored the final six points of a 10-0 run by the Blazers that cut the Knights’ lead to 66-63 at the 11:55 mark.
Ricky Stafford’s jumper stretched it back to a 74-64 lead for Southern Virginia just 90 seconds later. Hood gradually chipped away and pulled within 81-79 with 4:56 remaining. Wang tied it at 87-87 with two free throws with 1:37 left. Stafford missed a 3-pointer at the other end. The Knights got the offensive rebound but Trey Dill turned the ball over. Wang scored with 40 seconds to go to give Hood its first lead since 12:42 in the first half.
An offensive foul turned the ball over for the Knights on the next possession, and Wang hit two free throws with 20 seconds left. With 12 seconds to go, Stafford hit a 3-pointer and was fouled. He sank the ensuing foul shot to tie the game.
Hood inbounded the ball and Wang held ran the clock down before driving in for the game-winner.
The Blazers overcame a 57 percent shooting night by Southern Virginia by forcing 22 turnovers and turning them into 30 points. Hood went 34-of-44 at the foul line (77 percent), while the Knights hit only 16-of-26 (62 percent).
Evans shot 7-of-11 from the field, 3-of-6 from 3-point distance and went 10-of-13 at the free-throw line. Wang went 8-of-18 shooting and 10-of-11 at the line. Both players had six rebounds. Evans led the team with four steals.
Evan Wang dished out seven assists and scored 14 points. Christopher Smalls finished with a career-high 11 points.
Stafford finished with 22 points, two more than teammate Sam Armstrong. Armstrong went 6-of-12 from behind the arc, and Stafford was 5-of-8 with eight assists.
With the win, Hood takes on Lynchburg in the championship game of the MMI Tip Off Tournament at 3 p.m. Saturday.