On a night when his Lancers seemed lethargic, out of it and headed for a disappointing loss, they dug deep, competed and found a way to steal a late 81-76 non-conference win over Young Harris Wednesday night.
"We played about 12 minutes of good basketball tonight, and I think we snuck one away from them," said Collins. "I'm thankful we had some heart and competed all the way to the end."
CBU overcame a 17-point second half deficit by out-scoring Young Harris 47-25 over the final 16 minutes of the game to escape with the victory.
The win is the Lancers' second straight as they improve to 2-0. The Mountain Lions fall to 0-2.
Luke Evans led all players with 24 points, one of four Lancers to reach double figures. He also had 10 rebounds for his 10th career double-double. Ivan Patterson had 16 points, Anthony Romero had 14 points and six assists, and Andrew Fisk had 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Lancers couldn't have had a worse start, committing 12 turnovers in the first 13 minutes and missing 12 of 18 shots, falling in a 29-14 hole with 6:44 left in the half. They trailed 41-30 at halftime and then were behind 51-34 with 16:59 left in the game.
"In that first half we weren't competing," said Collins. "We were lethargic and didn't look like ourselves. It was not a real good half. I knew they were going to have to dig down deep and find something within themselves to come back in the second half."
Young Harris, which is in its second year of transition to NCAA Division II, then led 58-44 with 11:56 left when the Lancers got back in the game with a 17-5 flurry. A Kyle Wong 3-pointer and a Romero jumper made it 61-55 and then back-to-back buckets by Romero and Kevin Crabb made it 63-61 with 7:46 to play.
The Lancers got within a single point three times before Evans made the second of two free throws to tie the game at 70-70 with 3:04 to play. CBU finally got over the hump on an Evans lay-up with 1:40 left to take a 74-72 lead, their first of the night.
They never trailed again and outscored the Mountain Lions 51-35 in the second half.
After going 7 for 19 from the free throw line in the first 18 minutes, the Lancers all of the sudden found their touch and were a steady 7 for 9 in the final 1:41 to put the game on ice.
"We could have let this one get away from us, but we didn't," said Collins. "We showed some heart and competed and the guys showed they wanted to win this game."
Young Harris had four players reach double figures, led by Malcom Jackson's 22 points. He was 5 for 8 from beyond the arc, but the rest of the Mountain Lions combined to go 4 for 15. The Lancers out-rebounded Young Harris 46-28.
Wong finished with nine points and three assists. In all, the Lancers out-scored the Mountain Lions 42-24 in the paint and shot 57.6 percent in the second half.