December 7, 2013

MEN'S BASKETBALL DOWNS PACE IN DOUBLE OVERTIME, 87-79

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Le Moyne Dolphins Sports Network | Men's Basketball vs. Pace

Video highlights from Le Moyne's double-overtime victory over Pace University on Saturday.



Syracuse, N.Y. – Sophomore guard Qwadere Lovell (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon) led three Dolphins with at least 20 points as the Le Moyne College men's basketball team recorded an 87-79 win over Pace University in double overtime on Saturday afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference action at Ted Grant Court.

Lovell registered a game-high 23 points, 18 of which came after halftime. He also grabbed five rebounds, dished out a pair of assists and posted a steal in a career-high 45 minutes of action. Graduate student Jim Janson (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville) posted his second straight double-double and third in four games with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while blocking a pair of shots. Senior guard Nate Champion (Logansport, Ind./Logansport), the national leader in minutes per game at 42.25, recorded 20 points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals over all 50 minutes. Junior forward Ryan Romich (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable/Vermont Academy) was the fourth Dolphin in double-digits with 12 points, while adding eight rebounds.

Denzel Primus-Devonish led four Setters in double-figure scoring with 20 points, 12 of which came in the first half. He also had four steals, four rebounds and three assists. Jonathan Merceus posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out in the second overtime period. Jaylen Mann tallied 19 points and five rebounds, while Nick Jackson came off the bench to score 12 points, all after halftime.

The teams opened the game by going back-and-forth over the first six minutes, resulting in a 14-14. After Primus-Devonish hit a three-pointer from the right corner to pull the Setters within 7-6, sophomore forward Connor Mahoney (Hanover, Mass./BC High/Brooks School) made a baseline jumper and Romich followed with two free throws to give the Dolphins a five-point edge with 16:42 left.

The Setters responded with eight of the next 11 points over 2:26 to even the score at 14. Mann started the run with a jumper in the paint, Primus-Devonish followed with two free throws, Jamaal James hit a jumper in the paint and then Merceus converted two free throws after grabbing an offensive rebound.

After Janson had a put-back lay-up and a dunk to put the Dolphins up 18-14, the Setters rattled off nine of the next 11 points over the next 2:25 to take a three-point advantage. Ahmad George made a fast-break lay-up off a steal, Mann made two shots in the paint and then Primus-Devonish had a conventional three-point play.

Le Moyne responded with a 15-5 run over almost seven minutes to take a 35-28 lead with 2:41 left in the half. Champion had five of the points, Lovell made two fast-break lay-ups, Janson had three points and then Mahoney drilled a three-pointer off a feed from Lovell.

Pace closed out the half with four of the last five points, all on Primus-Devonish free throws, to pull within 36-32 at halftime.

After the Setters scored seven of the first nine points of the second half to grab a 39-38 lead, the Dolphins responded with an 8-2 run to regain the lead. Primus-Devonish and Mann hit three-pointers in Pace's run, while Romich had four of Le Moyne's eight points.

Following four points from each team, leading to a 50-45 Le Moyne lead with 12:27 left, the Setters scored six consecutive points to take the lead back with 10:54 remaining. Jackson had the first four points and Mann followed with a jumper.

The teams then went back-and-forth over the next four and one-half minutes with the Dolphins eventually taking a 59-58 lead on a Champion three-pointer from the top-of-the-key.

Pace responded with seven straight points over 1:28 to take its largest lead of the contest with 4:20 left. George made two free throws for the lead, Merceus followed with a lay-up off a steal in the backcourt and then Mann nailed a three-pointer from the right side.

The Dolphins bounced back with five straight points and eight of the next 10 to knot the score at 67 apiece. Lovell started the comeback with a pair of free throws. After a media timeout and a pair of Le Moyne 30-second timeouts, Lovell buried a three-pointer from the top-of-the-key as the shot clock expired to pull the Dolphins within 65-64 with 3:08 left. Following two free throws from Merceus with 2:37 left and a pair of empty possessions for each team, Lovell drilled a three-pointer from the right wing to tie the score with 1:22 left.

After Janson blocked a shot by Merceus with 49 seconds left, the Dolphins missed a pair of free throws with 17 seconds to go. Primus-Devonish had three-point shot from the right wing as regulation ended, but it was off the mark.

In the first overtime period, Champion nailed a three-pointer from the right wing on Le Moyne's first possession to give the Dolphins a 70-67 lead. Primus-Devonish answered with a three-pointer from the left wing 28 seconds later. He then stole the ball in the backcourt and fed Merceus, who converted the lay-up and ensuing foul shot. Janson pulled Le Moyne within 73-72 with 2:25 left, but Mann made a free throw and Primus-Devonish had a fast-break lay-up to put the Setters up by four with 1:39 to go. Janson answered with a lay-up and then Champion stole the ball from Primus-Devonish and was fouled on his way to the basket. He nailed both free throws with 44 seconds left to tie the score at 76. Pace had two shots to win the game in the final 12 seconds, but Jackson missed a three-pointer and Kai Smith missed a jump shot.

The Dolphins, who played a double-overtime game for the first time since February 5, 2005 at Saint Michael's (an 86-84 loss), opened the second overtime with the first seven points to take control of the stanza. Janson started the period with a lay-up, Romich followed with a free throw, Lovell then drove the baseline and converted a reverse lay-up and Janson capped the spurt with a dunk with 1:59 left. Jackson got the Setters on the scoreboard in the period with a three-pointer from the right wing, but those would be Pace's final points of the game. Janson made a free throw with 1:08 left, Lovell converted a lay-up and then made a free throw with 19 seconds left to end the game's scoring.

Le Moyne (5-3, 3-1 NE-10), which has won three of its first four Northeast-10 Conference games for the first time since the 2002-03 season, is off until Thursday, December 19, when the Dolphins host Southern Connecticut State University at 7:00 p.m.