Rail Runners squander 18 point lead to lose in CBA playoffs - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Rail Runners squander 18 point lead to lose in CBA playoffs

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ROSSVILLE, GA.- (playcba.com) It was only fitting that in a game of runs throughout the contest, that the final minutes of the first semi-final matchup produced a run for the ages in the league's short history. Midway through the fourth quarter, with the Chattanooga Rail Runners leading 101-83, the experienced and battle-tested Hawks bench were cheering on their teammates and encouraging them to get things going. And did they ever. Corey Hill (University of Northern Iowa) and Chris Rebuck (Maryville University) went on a hot streak of three-pointers, connecting on six of them in a span of three minutes to complete a furious rally and take the lead 110-108 with three minutes left in the game. They didn't let go of the lead late in the game, as they did in third frame, as critical free throw shooting down the stretch helped the Hawks defeat the top-seed and regular season champion, Chattanooga Rail Runners, 123-118, in front of a packed, but stunned, audience in Rossville, Georgia. 

Chattanooga started the game on a 10-0 run, and took a 9-point lead at the half, 61-52. St. Louis obtained their first lead of the game midway through the third quarter as they used a 14-2 run to lead 66-63. The Rail Runners answered back with a 14-0 run of their own, ultimately taking the lead back and expanding it to double-digits. They stretched the lead to as many as eighteen in the fourth, before succumbing to the Hawks defense late in the game, and failing to overcome St. Louis' 50-point final quarter. 

The St. Louis Hawks, who won the 2013 league title, will advance to the championship game for a second consecutive season. They will face the winner of the Middle Tennessee - Fort Wayne game, which is currently taking place in Nashville, in the title game on Saturday, May 31st. The much-anticipated contest will be played in either Nashville or Fort Wayne, depending on the winner of the second semi-finals matchup. 

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