The Peninsula Pirates went toe-to-toe with the winningest junior college basketball program in the country — No. 3 nationally ranked College of Southern Idaho — for 37 minutes on Saturday night in Twin Falls (Idaho), but fell short in a 73-60 decision.
When P.C.'s Daniels Sims fadeaway jumper from the right elbow rattled around the rim and dropped through the net knotting the score at 58-58 with 3:12 remaining in the game, it seemed that the Pirates would finish off the more celebrated program.
But a number of fouls called against Peninsula helped Southern Idaho pull away in the non-conference battle. The Golden Eagles scored 11 of their final 15 points from the free-throw line.
The Pirates (2-4) were called for 29 fouls; Southern Idaho, just 11.
"ÂWe played outstanding tonight in a very difficult and adverse environment; at times it felt as if we were playing eight-on-five, especially down the stretch,Â" Peninsula coach Lance Von Vogt said.
"ÂWe are still figuring out who we are, but tonight we took a huge step forward against the top junior college program in the country for the past 40 years.Â"
Three Pirate players — Sims, Djuan Smith and GP Panoam — fouled out the contest while three other Pirate players, Donald Gaddy, Salim Gloyd and Arnold Anderson, all finished with four fouls apiece.
Gloyd logged his team-leading fourth double-double of the season, notching 15 points and 11 rebounds. Sims had another strong effort, scoring 12 points and seven rebounds and four assists.
Panoam contributed 10 points.
Kareem Story, former University of Utah starting point guard, led Southern Idaho with 23 points thanks to 13-of-17 free-throw shooting.
It was an 0-2 road trip for the Pirates, who fell to Eastern Utah 79-71 the evening before.
"This team is most certainly a work in progress, but we have all the right pieces," Von Vogt said. "I truly expect us to get better and better every game of the season as we mature. We will be something to watch by seasonÂ's end."
The Pirates travel to Roseburg, Ore., for the Umpqua Community College Crossover Tournament on Dec. 14-16 before taking a short holiday break.