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Cliff Alexander recorded 27 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks as Curie held on for a 66-59 overtime victory over visiting Hyde Park in the Red-Central on Thursday.
Sharieff Madlock sank a free throw with two seconds remaining to force overtime and the Condors (2-3, 2-0) used a 7-0 run in the extra period to put the game out of reach for the Thunderbirds (7-2, 1-1).
Josh Stamps and Demarcus Richardson scored 12 points each and Madlock finished with 11 for Curie.
Philip Lee led Hyde Park with 20 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. Moshawn Thomas scored 13 and Smith added ten.
“We are the two top teams in the conference and it has become a very good rivalry,” Condors coach Mike Oliver said. “We came out aggressive and then we relaxed. In a game like this you know it is going to be a game of runs. We had just enough to get the win.”
Alexander said it was a case of underestimating an opponent. “We came out real strong in the first quarter and we thought it was over,” Alexander said. “We were surprised for a moment the way they came back. In the end it was about boxing out and rebounding for me.”
A technical foul on Hyde Park at the start of overtime sparked the Curie run.
“In a game like this emotions run high,” Thunderbirds coach Antoine Samuels said. “I’m not blaming the loss on the tech, but it affected our play down the stretch. Also the technical foul had nothing to do with the number of turnovers we had in the game.”