By Chris Schmidbauer, Sports Information Director
Toledo, OH -- It turns out, 10 was one of the hardest to get. The Owens Express needed overtime on Wednesday night to put away a determined Edison team by a final of 77-71. The victory meant that the Express's winning streak has now reached double digits for the first time since the 2005-2006 season.
The Express played a solid first half, and they went to the locker room up by 13 points at 42-29. Freshman Dru Pettigrew was the offensive spark for the Express during the first twenty minutes of the ball game. The former Rogers Ram had 15 of his game high 20 points in the first half. He shot 5-6 from the floor and 2-2 from deep to help the Express to their lead by a baker's dozen.
The second half was much more difficult for the home team. The Chargers would start the second half on a 20-9 run to erase the Owens lead down to two points at 51-49 with 11:37 to play in the second half. From then on out, the two teams would battle back and forth.
Edison would come back to tie the game at 60 apiece with 7:11 to play in the ball after a three pointer from the Chargers' Dakota Pritchard. They would take the lead for the first time in the game just a little over a minute later at the 5:58 mark at 62-60 after Darryl Robinson made a layup.
The lead would change hands four times over the remainder of the ball game. With just 33 seconds to play, a pair of free throws from Darryl Robinson would put Edison up by two points at 68-66. But Julian Egbo's layup with 17 seconds to play would tie the score at 68. Edison's Yagub Romello would miss a layup with no time remaining to second the game to overtime.
In the extra session, the Express would strike first on a Pettigrew three to put them up 71-68. A Romello layup and a split pair of free throws from Hadith Tiggs would tie the game back up at 71 with just 2:24 to go in overtime.
Just 30 seconds later, however, Marquevious Wilson would put Owens up for good with a three pointer to make the score 74-71. Gabe Simpson would make one of two free throws, and Wilson would sink two from the charity stripe to salt away the victory for the Express.
After shooting 47.1% in the first half, the Express would shoot just 28.6% in the second half. They would shoot 35.4% (29-82) for the game while Edison finished 38.8% (26-67) from the field.
Despite tough shooting nights, both Wilson and Simpson finished in double figures for Owens. Wilson would score 17 points on 6-19 shooting, while Simpson had 26 points on 7-24 shooting. To add to his point total, Simpson finished with 11 rebounds on the evening, scoring his first double-double of his career. Wilson had nine rebounds during his 35 minutes on the floor.
Julian Egbo had a double-double as well. The sophomore was clutch on the glass, grabbing a game high 12 caroms. He also had 11 points on 5-8 shooting.
The Express move to 17-7 overall and 11-2 in the OCCAC. They are a game behind in second place behind Cuyahoga currently. Edison fell to 15-9 overall and 3-8 in conference play.
As stated the win represents the Express's tenth straight win. This is the program's longest winning streak since the 2005-2006 season when the Express won 14 games in a row. The current team has a chance to match that streak, if they are able to win the their final three games of the regular season and win one game during the District tournament.
Owens will get a chance to rest up a bit with no game scheduled for the weekend. The Express will next be in action again at home against Lakeland on Wednesday February 21. Owens beat Lakeland back on January 24 in double overtime 85-80. The Lakers are currently 3-17 overall and 2-9 in the OCCAC. Tip off from the SHAC is scheduled for 7:30 PM.