Tolbert leads Lander past Armstrong Atlantic, 76-73

Dwight Tolbert
Dwight Tolbert

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Dwight Tolbert sank three free throws, gathered a steal, and drove in for a layup in the final seconds Wednesday night to lead the Lander men's basketball team past Armstrong Atlantic, 76-73, in a Peach Belt Conference contest in Alumni Arena.

Lander improves to 16-7 overall and 9-6 in the PBC, while the Pirates drop to 10-13, 6-9.

A former Armstrong player before he followed current Bearcat coach Jeff Burkhamer to Lander, Tolbert scored a game-high 33 points on 11-of-18 field goals (7-12 threes) and all four of his foul shots, while collecting five steals. David Pruett, who also played for Burkhamer at Armstrong, added 11 points and Jermel Kennedy had 10 points and nine rebounds. Corey Wright dished off six assists.

Armstrong was led by DeVon Jones and Chris Vanlandingham, who netted 26 and 25 points respectively. Jones also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

Trailing 41-34 at halftime, Lander kicked off the second half with a 14-6 run to take a 48-47 lead on a Tolbert three with 14:24 left in the game.

The Pirates gradually eased out to a 66-56 lead with 6:03 left to play on a Grant Domsic three.

After trading baskets for a few minutes, Lander made its final move beginning with 2:36 to play when the Bearcats went on a 10-3 run to cut the lead to 73-71 with 1:06 left to play on a Wright layup.

Fouled on a three-point attempt, Tolbert sank all three shots to give Lander a 74-73 lead with 11 seconds left, then he sealed the deal with a steal and a layup.

After a tight first few minutes, Lander used a 10-0 run to take a 27-18 lead on a Darius Carrier layup with 7:16 left in the first half.

Armstrong retalitated with a 23-3 run  to claim a 41-30 advantage on a Jones jumper with 1:11 left in the first half.

Lander used a Tolbert free throw and a Pruett three to cut the Armstrong margin to 41-34 at the half.

The Bearcats connected on 29-of-62 field goals for 46.8 percent, including 8-of-21 threes for 38.1 percent. Lander also made 10-15 free throws for 66.7 percent.

Armstrong sank 25-of-50 floor shots for 50 percent, including 4-of-13 threes for 30.8 percent. The Pirates netted 19-of-24 foul shots for 79.2 percent.

Both teams grabbed 32 rebounds.