Marion, AL - Freshman Sammie Battle scored two of his seven points with seven seconds remaining in the game to lift MMI over the Snead State CC Parsons, 64-63, Thursday evening in an important ACCC North match-up. The Tigers clawed their way back to within two points at the half (27-29), after being down double digits.
Marion had to fight throughout the second half as the Parsons once again built a nine-point lead with over 16 minutes to play. Although the Tigers kept chipping away at the lead, Snead held Marion at bay, building a 61-55 lead with 1:11 left in the game. Sophomore Josh Murrell received a pass from Orlando Davis and scored on a dunk. MMI got a key defensive stop on Snead's next possession. Murrell was fouled driving to the basket and connected on one of two free throws to cut the lead to 61-58. A foul by Orlando Davis led to two missed free throws by Snead but an offensive rebound and a foul by Sammie Battle helped Snead build the lead back to five.
Sophomore point guard Monta Sanford was fouled on the next Marion possession and after making both free throws the home team trailed 60-63 with just 36 seconds remaining. Sanford got a steal on the next Snead possession and scored on a layup, cutting the Parson lead to just one. Murrell committed a quick foul but a missed free throw from Snead and a defensive rebound from Battle put MMI in the position to take the final shot. Battle found the ball in his hands with seven seconds to go and was able to connect on the layup to give the Tigers their first lead of the game. Charles Steele, Jr. solidified the win on the next possession, picking off a pass from the Parsons.
Monta Sanford led Marion with 22 points and six rebounds. Greg Henry scored 11 for Marion, now 13-14 overall. Also scoring for MMI were Charles Steele, Jr. (8), Josh Murrell (6), Raymond Hobbs (4), Orlando Davis (3), and Jamar Pope (3).
Marion will host Shelton State CC on Monday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the William R. Ireland Athletic Center.