The Greyhounds shot a paltry 31.4% from the field and an anemic 15.6% from the three-point line in falling to North Central Missouri College 73-67 in the District XIII Championship in Trenton, Missouri.
The field goal percentage was the second-worst outing of the season, capped only by the 29.2% shot at last Saturday's Region Championship, and their three-point field goal percentage (5-of-32) was their worst from the arc this season.
And yet, the game still went down to the wire with North Central Missouri taking advantage of 31 second-half free throws to capture the victory.
ASU Mid-South's Jalen Lynn scored 13 points in the first half to lead the Greyhounds to a 34-31 halftime lead, and with 15 minutes to go led 45-38. But the Pirates tied it up with a three-pointer at 48-48 around the 13-minute mark. After trading baskets the next several minutes with both defenses controlling the game, the Greyhounds took a 56-55 lead with 5:40 to go on a Garret Finley basket. But the Pirates responded on the next three possessions with a three-pointer, a free throw and a layup -- all from Marty Jackson -- for a 6-0 run to give the Pirates a 61-56 lead with 4:10 left in the game.
A Jalen Lynn free throw broke the run at the 4:02 mark, but Jackson again responded with a jump hook for a 63-57 Pirate lead with 3:30 to go. Lynn then hit a three-pointer on the following possession to cut the gap to 63-61 with 3:07 to go, but NCMC responded with back-to-back layups to take a 67-61 lead with 2:05 remaining.
Lynn then hit a tough layup and was sent to the floor with no call to cut the lead to 67-63, and after two Pirate free throws, hit another layup to make it 69-65. Two Pirate free throws with 45.2 seconds made it 71-65, but the Greyhounds managed only two Shaheed Halk free throws and were forced to foul to allow the Pirates to complete the scoring from the foul line.
The Greyhounds committed a season-low six turnovers, hit 18-of-23 free throws (78.3%) and held the Pirates to 40.7% shooting from the field and only 25.0% from the three-point line, but were not able to overcome the 16-to-6 foul count in the second half compared to an 8-to-9 count in the first frame.
The loss ends the season for ASU Mid-South with a 22-9 record after winning their third straight Region 2 title and was the final game for sophomores Shaheed Halk, Kamron Rose and Caleb Henry. Halk ended up scoring 3 points, collecting 3 rebounds, and finishing with game-highs of 6 assists and 3 steals; Rose scored 6 points with 3 rebounds and a blocked shot, and Henry scored 7 points including two three-pointers.