December 4, 2013

MEN’S BASKETBALL RALLIES TO KNOCK OFF AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL, 66-59, IN OVERTIME

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Men's Basketball vs. A.I.C.



Syracuse, N.Y. – Sophomore forward Connor Mahoney (Hanover, Mass./BC High/Brooks School) forced overtime with a three-pointer with 18 seconds left and then gave the Dolphins the lead in overtime with another three-pointer as the Le Moyne College men's basketball team rallied to defeat American International College, 66-59, on Wednesday night in Northeast-10 Conference action at Ted Grant Court.

Mahoney registered 11 points in the contest, nine of which came after halftime, while pulling down seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Qwadere Lovell (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon) led four Dolphins in double-digits with 15 points, while dishing out six assists and grabbing four rebounds. Senior guard Nate Champion (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) recorded 13 points (11 after halftime), six rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. With his fifth rebound of the game, Champion became the fourth player in the program's 66-year history to grab 300 rebounds and dish out 300 assists. The other three players are Scott Hicks '88, Len Rauch '91 and Damani Corbin '09. Graduate student center Jim Janson (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville) posted his second double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds (10 in the first half), while blocking six shots. Junior forward Ryan Romich (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable/Vermont Academy) grabbed 10 rebounds and scored eight points.

Bobby Harris led all scorers with 32 points, 23 of which came in the second half. Harris, who averaged 11.4 points over 36 games (31 starts) at Assumption College during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, added nine steals (six in the second half) and seven rebounds. Jason Perrier was the only other Yellow Jacket in double-figures, scoring 11 points. Marcus Porter led the team in rebounds with eight, while adding six points.

After Harris got the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard first with a lay-up 1:22 into the game, the Dolphins posted eight straight points. Mahoney made a jump shot from the left baseline, Lovell nailed a three-pointer from the right wing, Janson converted a foul shot and then Champion knocked down a foul-line jumper.

Harris countered with four straight points to pull the Yellow Jackets within two (8-6) and then the teams traded points over a span of 2:54. Following a Harris three-pointer from the left wing to cut Le Moyne's lead to 13-11 with 11:23 left, the Dolphins scored eight straight points for their largest lead of the game. Janson ignited the run with a lay-up, freshman guard Daylin Davis (Waldorf, Md./North Point) followed with his first career basket and then classmate Stan Buczek (Port Jervis, N.Y./Burke Catholic) made a lay-up and a foul-line jumper.

American International responded with seven of the next eight points over the ensuing 6:19 to trim its deficit to four. Porter had a pair of baskets around a three-pointer from the left corner by Perrier.

Lovell made a free throw and Romich converted a lay-up off a feed from Lovell to give the Dolphins a 25-18 lead at halftime.

American International opened the second half with eight of the first 12 points to cut its deficit to three. Harris had all eight points on a pair of three-pointer and a fast-break lay-up.

The Dolphins answered back with an 8-2 run to take their biggest lead of the half. Janson made a free throw, Champion made a fast-break jumper from the right wing, Lovell nailed two free throws and then Mahoney buried a three-pointer from the left wing.

The Yellow Jackets responded with nine straight points to tie the score and 21 of the next 27 for their largest lead of the game. Harris started the run with a conventional three-point play and then nailed a three-pointer, while Perrier capped the 9-0 run with a three-point play off a steal by Harris to knot the score at 37 with 12:31 remaining.

Following a Lovell jumper to give the Dolphins a 39-37 edge with 12:20 left, the Yellow Jackets kept pushing with 12 of the next 14 points. Harris had a pair of fast-break lay-ups off steals around a fast-break lay-up by Oscar Assie. After a Janson dunk, Perrier nailed a three-pointer and then Harris answered two free throws from Champion with his fourth three-pointer of the half for a 49-43 advantage with 7:13 remaining.

After the teams traded points over the next four minutes, resulting in a 53-48 American International lead with 3:16 left, the Dolphins scored four straight points to pull within a point with 1:08 left. Romich made a put-back lay-up to make the score 53-50 after 78-second possession and Champion followed with a lay-up to make it a one-point game.

After the Yellow Jackets called timeout with 47 seconds left, Perrier made a jump shot from the right baseline with 37 seconds left to give AIC a 55-52 advantage. On the ensuing Le Moyne possession, Mahoney nailed a step-in three-pointer off a feed from Champion to even the score at 55 with 18 seconds left.

Out of a timeout, Perrier had a three-pointer for the win with two seconds left, but it missed its mark, sending the game to overtime.

After each team failed to score on its first possession of overtime, Porter gave the Yellow Jackets the lead by making a pair of foul shots. Following a dunk by Janson off a feed from Lovell, Mark Ellis, Jr. made a lay-up to regain the lead for American International, but those two points would be last of the game for the Yellow Jackets.

After keeping a Le Moyne possession alive with an offensive rebound, Mahoney took a pass from Champion in the right corner and nailed a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:21 left. Champion pushed Le Moyne's lead to 62-59 with a coast-to-coast lay-up with 37 seconds left after grabbing a rebound. Champion extended the lead to 64-59 by making two free throws with 16 seconds to go, while Lovell ended the game's scoring with two free throws with four ticks left.

Le Moyne (4-3, 2-1 NE-10), which snapped a three-game losing streak to the Yellow Jackets, returns to Ted Grant Court on Saturday against Pace University at 2:00 p.m.