GARY | The 34-degree weather would be forgotten if the Lew Wallace-Roosevelt game would have been played outside on Friday night.
The lone reason was Roosevelt guard Tyree Sims' fiery shooting.
He missed only one shot in the first half while connecting on seven shots, including four three-pointers on his way to 18 points.
Roosevelt had the game well in hand, up 42-29 at the half, but it struggled in the second half, before narrowly escaping 64-63 over its Northwestern conference foe.
The Hornets (7-6, 0-2 NC), down 55-40 at one point, flew all the way back and took the lead thanks to a 20-2 run during the last four minutes of the third quarter.
"We made some big errors down the stretch and had three turnovers in the last two minutes," Lew Wallace interim coach Brandon Scott said. "We played a great second half, but we've started slow all year. We've always been able to score the ball, but we didn't play defense in the first half."
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Lew Wallace knocked off 4:14 on one possession, with Richard Wash just dribbling in one spot, subsequently killing any momentum Roosevelt (9-4, 1-0) wanted to gain.
After the Panthers finally got the ball back and Sims made a free throw to cut it to 60-58, Wallace used the clock as its ally again by knocking another 90 seconds off.
"There's no reason to press the ball at halfcourt and I honestly wasn't worried," Roosevelt coach Marcus Jefferson said. "These guys bought in."
But this time, Roosevelt's Tevin Ferris blocked Wallace guard Jeremy Dickerson's shot and Alexander Buggs converted on a breakaway layup. On the next possession, Wallace turned the ball over and Buggs made another shot.
After Sims made a couple more free throws, Wash made a three with six seconds to go to cut the Panther lead to 64-63.
On the ensuing Panther inbound play, Wash stole the ball and went up for a layup, but LaParis Hodges blocked the shot, ending the game.
"I feel very ecstatic," said Hodges, who scored five points. "I didn't have a good game offensively, but I had to block it or foul him and send him to the free throw line."