EDWARDSVILLE - Senior forward Shaun Pacatte only scored six points, but it was the last three that were the most important - and most dramatic as well.

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Pacatte's three with 4.4 seconds left in the second overtime gave Edwardsville a dramatic 49-47 win in double overtime in a nip-and-tuck affair in the Southwestern Conference opener for both teams, as well as the Tigers' home opener, Friday night at Lucco-Jackson Gym.

That it was Pacatte that hit the game-winner was very emotional as well, as Pacatte's cousin, Heather, who died in 2017, would have celebrated her birthday on Saturday. The two were very close, and Pacatte dedicated the game to her.

"Couldn't have happened to a better Tiger, that's for sure," said Edwardsville head coach Dustin Battas in his postgame interview. "Shaun is a tremendous teammate, he's been an important part of our program for a long time, he played with a heavy heart tonight, he's got a bad ankle, he's dragging his leg around. We tried to actually manage his minutes a little bit and just let him heal up, but he never complains, he never waivers. So when it ended up in his hands, I thought 'well, there's a guy out here right now that can somehow will want to go down,' it's Shaun. Obviously, we're super happy for him, he's just a great Tiger and I'm happy he has that memory."

On the floor, it was a game of toughness, adversity and just about everything, as both teams were able to overcome adversity all night before Edwardsville came out on top.

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"Yeah, I told our guys I thought we did a lot of good things," Battas said. "Our firs quarter was excellent, I thought we got a little tired and it was hard to make shots. And we started letting (Adrian Elliott) get into the lane; we really spent a lot of time in practice focusing on (Elliott). He makes some tough threes; he was one-for-15 before tonight, he makes three threes, one's a stepback. Sometimes, it's them playing at a really high level, and you not maybe taking advantage of a few open layups or free throws. I thought all of that stuff considered, we'd still be fighting and battling, and hold them to nine points in the fourth quarter, where we had to get out and pressure, was huge. So proud of our guys for finding a way to win there."

A three from Bryce Spiller just before the buzzer at the end of regulation put the game into extra time, coming through in a clutch situation.

"Yeah, and Bryce is just scratching the surface," Battas said. "He's got a lot of ability, and he's a really hard worker. Got into a little bit of foul trouble tonight, so we had to take him out, but certainly, it's nice having some guys that can go make baskets. And the end there, we didn't have a time out and we didn't want to run a set play, so we threw it ahead to Bryce. And he drove it in there and they came and rotated, and we passed to Shaun. So I thought he was tremendous late, and I thought that we did a good job of finding him and personally got Shaun open on some screens. He made a huge three to tie at the top of the key, and he made another big three in the other overtime."

The Tigers go to 3-1 and play on the road twice next week, at O'Fallon on Tuesday night and Belleville East next Friday in 7:30 p.m. tip-offs before hosting Bishop DuBourg Catholic of south St. Louis in the Scott Credit Union Edwardsville Shootout Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m.

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