SALISBURY, N.C. – The Lander men's basketball team fell victim to a 23-8 run over the final 5:40 on Tuesday night, falling 85-82 to Livingstone in a non-conference contest.
Lander (1-3) led 74-62 following a made jumper from Marquel Wiggins, but the Blue Bears (4-2) scored 23 of the game's final 31 points, including 11 from the free throw line, to steal the win.
Neither team led by more than five in the first half and the Bearcats held a slim 56-54 lead with 10:54 remaining before embarking on an 18-8 spurt, highlighted by eight points from Wiggins, to build a 12-point advantage.
Facing its largest deficit of the night, Livingstone turned to Roger Ray, who scored 19 of his 22 points in the final 5:04 to bring the Blue Bears all the way back.
Rahu Purdie scored a team-high 22 points for the Bearcats and dished four assists. Wiggins finished with a season-high 21 points and added three steals. Elijah Alston led the Bearcats with seven rebounds.
Lander travels to Tusculum on Saturday afternoon for its second meeting with the Pioneers in 10 days. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.