Pfeiffer University came into Boydson Baird Gymnasium on Sunday boasting a 115.6 points-per-game average, but a stifling defensive effort from the Maryville College Scots ended their 100-point streak at 12 games, 84-59.
Maryville's key defensive effort extended their home winning streak to 19 straight, holding the Falcons to 42 points below their lowest score of the year.
"I've coached over a thousand games here, and we've never started in a zone," Head Coach Randy Lambert said. "I just felt like we had to in order to slow them down. Our zone was very good. We were active, and we couldn't have played it any better. It was a tough matchup for them. We also have never two-platooned before. I just felt like we needed to do it in order to keep up with their speed."
The Scots took control in the first half, as their zone defense took over. Through the first 10 minutes of action. On the season, Pfeiffer had shot 52.5 percent from the floor, holding a blistering 42.5 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
At the 10 minute mark, the Scots had held the Falcons to an 18.8 percent (3-of-16) effort. The Falcons could only muster and eight percent clip from long range, with Maryville leading 19-7.
MC was successful, breaking a tough pressure defense from the Falcons.
"We knew their pressure was going to be a factor," Lambert said. "We actually had no practices to prepare for their system. It's a real credit that we were able to walk through their actions this morning, and then, be able to apply that to the game strategy. They did a great job, and the credit goes to our players. I was scared. I was worried, and I was shocked that we played as well as we did."
That early defense held the Falcons to just 18 first-half points – only the second time they have scored below 50 in their first 13 games and 28 points below their season-low of 46.
The Scots shot 41.4 percent (12-of-29) in the first half, while bucketing seven treys at a 41.2 percent clip. They out-rebounded the Falcons 22-19, while forcing 13 turnovers to lead 36-18.
Maryville would shot 14-of-23 (60.9 percent) in the second half, while going 7-of-12 (58.2 percent) from beyond the arc to preserve the victory.
The Scots (13-4) were led by a duo of 15-point scorers in Calvin Songster and Emanuelle Garcia. Each bucketed five of Maryville's 14 treys – just a trio of 3-pointers below the Maryville College record.
"It was the same number of shots that they did – 29 total attempts from the 3-point line," Lambert said. "They made four, and we made 14. That's a 30-point differential right there. It was a big part of the game. I was glad to see Calvin get his confidence to where he was playing to his capability. Emanuelle, he's really given us a lift in the last couple of weeks."
Garcia had three rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals, while Songster added four boards and two assists. Emier Bowman had 10 points, five rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block.
Colt Nokes had nine points, six rebounds and two blocks, while J.R. Sanders added nine points, three assists and a steal off the bench. Kaleb Estes had eight points, five assists, four rebounds and a steal, with Daquan Summers adding seven points, four steals and two assists.
Christ Watson had six points and five boards, as Danterrius Bray added four rebounds, four assists and a trio of points. Dante Hoppa had a complete game with nine rebounds, three steals, two assists, two points and a block.
The Scots shot 50 percent (26-of-52) for the game, while blistering the nets with a 48.3 percent effort from beyond the arc. The outrebounded the Falcons, 46-37.
Pfeiffer (11-2) shot 32.9 percent – 20 percentage points lower than their season average, while going just 4-of-29 (13.8 percent) from 3-point range. They also struggled at the free-throw line (7-of-17), as Maryville shot 18-of-25.
Craig Sabb led the Falcons with 13 points, as Josh Calhoun added 10 points – 17 points below his season average of 27.2. Nolan Whitener tallied 10 points off the bench, as Marcus Sawyers and Whitener led the way with seven rebounds each.
Maryville will look to extend their home winning streak to 20 games on Wednesday night, as they face USA South foe Berea College. Tipoff against the Mountaineers is set for 7:30 p.m.