Denver, CO – Vanguard senior guard and CU signee Dominique Clifford had himself a game against Northfield Wednesday night at Northfield high school. The talented 6’5 guard had 32 points and was tallied double digits in blocks and rebounds but it was his play in the fourth quarter that earn the Coursers the victory.
Vanguard got off to a good start behind Cliffords 15 first quarter points. Northfield used a 1-2-2 half court soft trap to slow down the Coursers in the second quarter but that only opened up good looks from behind the three point line. Vanguard took advantage hitting four in the quarter to help build a double digit lead before Northfield cut to 35-28 at halftime. Northfield got a great effort from senior forward Nahsyah Bolar. He had six points in the second quarter and owned the boards against the Vanguard zone defense. Senior Marcus Rogers added five points in the quarter for Northfield who would have a big shot later in the 3rd quarter.
The Coursers went cold in the 3rd quarter having trouble against Northfield as they swtiched between zone defenses. This helped the Nighthawks chip away at the Vaguard lead as Bolar went to work in the lane scoring 11 points in the quarter. Then Rogers struck again with a three-pointer that gave Northfield the lead. The Coursers and Cilfford cam back to life after that. With time running down in the 3rd quarter and Northfield with a two point lead the Nighthawks worked for the last shot. However, Clifford was able to tip the miss shot to himself and go the length of the floor for a two handed dunk that tie the game at 48.
Vaguard worked through the fourth quarter to build a small lead 57-51 with two minutes remaining. The Coursers played keep away draining nearly a minutes off the clock. The Nighthawks though were not going out quitely. Down 59-53 Northfield guard Diego Dominques drilled a three pointer. Then after two made free throws by Clifford Northfield senior guard RaShiek Gaddis earned a three-point play hitting a driving lay up but Vanguard turned the ball over after the freethrow when they stepped over the endline nefore passing teh ball. Cue Dominquez who hit another three pointer with 35 seconds left to give Northfield the lead.
Vanguard took a time out with 27 second left and got the ball to Clifford. Clifford with the ball in his hand drove down the left wing to the baseline then to the basket pulling up for five foot jumper which he made but the officals waved off saying he was fouled on the floor.
Clifford stepped to the free-throw line with 20.2 seconds left in the game, his Coursers trailed 62-61 and the loud Northfield student section chanting overrated. The 6’5 guard calmly drained the first free throw to tie the game which quickly quieted the crowd. Then Clifford calmly swished the second free throw to give Vanguard the 63-61 lead. But there was still 20 seconds left for Northfield to get a shot off, and they did. However, the clock ran out before the missed three-pointer could be put back up. Clifford was six of eight from the free throw line in the final quarter.