GREENVILLE, S.C. (TheSAC.com) – Aided by a South Atlantic Conference tournament Most Valuable Player performance by Daniel Camps, the Queens Royals captured their first SAC Championship Title, knocking off the top-seeded Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters by a final of 75-72 from Timmons Arena in Greenville, S.C.
Saturday's showdown between the conferences top-two powerhouse programs and NCAA top-25 contenders gave fans a performance for the ages as both squads posted seven players with double-digit scoring totals, beginning with Queen's Camps who finished with a game-high 29 points on 11-17 shooting from the floor.
The Royals Ike Agusi and Mike Davis also posted notable performance as the pair finished with 14 and 10-point performances, respectively. While Todd Withers pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and Jared Hendryx rejected two Railsplitter shot attempts.
For Lincoln Memorial, Chris Perry turned in an all-conference performance with 20 points on 9-12 shooting from the floor and a game-high 15 rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end of the floor. Additionally, All-SAC first team member Luquon Choice finished with 15 points, while dishing out a game-high five assists.
In addition to Perry and Choice, Cornelius Taylor and Deshawn Patterson each turned in double-digit point totals as the duo finished with 13 points apiece.
Queens would kick off Saturday's scoring as Agusi found net on an opening possession layup to give the Royals a 2-0 lead. Lincoln Memorial's Choice would put the Railsplitters on the board of the following possession as the guard netted a three-point attempt.
A Perry dunk at 16:50 would push the Railsplitters lead to five points, but and Agusi jumper ended Lincoln Memorials early run and two Jalin Alexander free-throws put the Royals within one point at 11-10.
The Royals took their first lead of the afternoon at the 12:07 mark when Mike Davis drove the lay and laid a shot off the backboard and into Queen's net.
Following Davis's go ahead basket, the Royals would open and eight point advantage over the top-seeded Railsplitters three Camps baskets.
However, Lincoln Memorial snapped the Royals 11-4 run with a 6-1 run of their own, cutting the lead to two points with 5:40 remaining in the opening half of basketball.
Alexander would put the Royals back up by four with a layup, but two free-throws from Choice closed the lead back to two points with 4:42 remaining.
The Royals would lead by four points on one more occasion in the first half, before Lincoln Memorial tied the game at 34-34 with 1:21 remaining in the first half, however Queens would take a slight 37-36 lead into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, Lincoln Memorial would regain the lead on a three-point basket by Choice, but back-to-back buckets by Camps put the Royals back in the lead at 42-41.
The Railsplitters would take the lead again with 14:26 remaining as Taylor connected off the glass to give Lincoln Memorial at one-point 48-47 lead.
Following Taylor's go ahead basket, the Royals would regain the lead and manage to fight off the pressure for Lincoln Memorial for over seven minutes, before giving up the lead on back-to-back Patterson three-pointers, the second being arguably the play of the game as the freshman attempted to toss an ally-op to Emmanuel Terry, but his pass managed to find nothing but net, giving the Railsplitters a three-point lead at 64-61 with 7:44 remaining in regulation.
Both squads would trade leads over the final seven minutes of regulation, before the Royals Agusi put Queens back in front at 74-72 with 2:10 remaining. Agusi would added a free-throw just under a minute later to give Queens a narrow three-point lead, before Royals head coach Bart Lundy made the decision to foul Lincoln Memorial's Terry with 2.5 seconds remaining, forcing the junior post to the line for a one-and-one attempt, proving to be the eventual difference maker in the contest as Terry missed the free, giving Queens the 75-72 championship victory.
2017 South Atlantic Conference All-Tournament Team
Daniel Camps, Queens (MVP)
Todd Withers, Queens
Ike Augusi, Queens
Luquon Choice, Lincoln Memorial
Chris Perry, Lincoln Memorial