By coach Mike Carpenter’s own admission, his Wabash Valley College basketball team played much better Wednesday night at Spencer Sports Center.
As it turned out, that still wasn’t good enough.
Jeril Taylor hit a 3-point field goal with 6.5 seconds left to give Rend Lake an 82-79 Great Rivers Athletic Conference victory over the Warriors, their fifth straight loss.
WVC (6-9, 1-5 in GRAC) had one last chance, but Tyrone Sherman missed a 3-point try at the horn.
“We saw drastic improvement from our game Saturday at John A. Logan,” said Carpenter, “but we made too many mental errors down the stretch.”
Rend Lake (11-4, 3-2), the defending GRAC champions and winners of the NJCAA Division II national championship last year, bounced back from a 94-93 loss to Olney Central on Saturday.
Brienne Miles hit a 3-ball with five minutes left in the first half to give WVC a 33-27 lead.
Rend Lake rebounded with a 12-3 run to grab a 39-36 lead at halftime, a stretch that proved decisive, according to Carpenter.
“We have too many lulls in the game where we have poor offense and defense. If we could eliminate that five-minute stretch, we’d win the game by 12-15 points probably,” he said.
Taylor finished game-high with 24 points.
WVC was led by Miles’ 20 points, followed by Wesley Afolayan with 14, Sam Thompson with 12 and Jaquan Lynch and Keith Collins with 10 points each.