November 22, 2013

UMW Men's Basketball Falls at Buzzer at #14 Hampden-Sydney, 66-65; End of Game Featured on ESPN's Top Plays

The ending of the game made ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Day #2

After leading throughout most of the contest, the University of Mary Washington men's basketball team dropped a 66-65 decision at 14th-ranked Hampden-Sydney College on Friday night in Hampden-Sydney. The Eagles fall to 2-1 overall.

The game winner came after an Eagle turnover with five seconds left. On the ensuing play, the clock never started, so the referees met and decided to give the Tigers 2.5 seconds, and they used it to the fullest, as Greg Lewis hit a 25-footer from the top of the key for the win.

 After the Tigers jumped out to an early four-point lead (their largest of the night), the Eagles responded and led by as many as eight in the first half, thanks to 14 first half points from Bradley Riester. UMW settled for a three-point advantage at halftime, 27-24.

In the second, the Eagles ran the lead to as many as nine, with 17:57 left in the contest. The Tigers slowly chipped away, taking a two-point lead with 5:50 remaining at 54-52. The Eagles answered with a three pointer from senior Dylan Farinet, and ran the lead to five on a tip in from John Lutkenhaus with 1:17 to go.

Two free throws, a steal, and layup cut the Eagle lead to one at 61-60 with 36 seconds left, but senior Dom Morra hit a pair of free throws with 27 seconds remaining to return the lead to three. Riester stole the inbounds pass and converted a pair of free throws to give the Eagles a 65-60 lead with just 13 seconds left.

Lewis hit a three pointer with five seconds left to cut the deficit to two, and after an Eagle turnover, play resumed but the clock never started. The referees assembled and decided on giving HSC 2.5 seconds, and Lewis hit another three to win the game as time expired.

"We just didn't execute at the end of the game", said head coach Rod Wood. "We need to get used to these situations and realize the importance."

Riester led the Eagles with 24 points, while Farinet scored 14 and Taylor Johnson 12. The Eagles shot 38% from the floor, making 11 three pointers.

The Eagles will face Shenandoah University on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in Hampden-Sydney.