Spartans Lose Heartbreaker, 88-86, in 4OT
The St. Thomas Aquinas men's basketball team lost 88-86 to NYIT in a game that went into four overtime periods. Ra'Shad James had 27 points and 11 rebounds for STAC. Justin Brown had 18 points while Chad Williams added 12. Vincent Johnson scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Spartans.
Down fourteen at half time STAC came out strong in the second half as they opened with a 17-3 run to tie the game 34-34. Both teams exchanged the lead over the next few minutes before Brown drained a three to put STAC ahead 43-41 with 6:45 left in regulation. STAC maintained their lead pushing to five with a Williams 3-pointers at the 4:44 mark. James hit a jumper with a little over two minutes left in the game giving STAC a three point lead, 52-49. NYIT's Arthur Braswell made one of two free throws for the Bears pulling them within two. Both teams missed their next field goals forcing NYIT to foul. Jamie Blanchard stepped up for STAC and knocked down two free throws making the score, 54-50. However the Bears would not go away quietly as Dominic Scurry scored a layup to bring them back within two. The Spartans missed a pair of free throws allowing Anthony Clarke's jumper to tie the game and force the first overtime.
Down 61-59 with seconds left on the clock Brown stepped up and made two free throws for the Spartans forcing a second overtime period. In the second overtime Johnson scored the final field goal with a jumper in the paint to tie the game 67-67 and force a third overtime. With 3:38 left in triple overtime, Johnson made two free throws to bring STAC within two, 73-71. James scored a basket off an NYIT turnover to tie it at 73 apiece. The Bears Jarrell Walker made one of two free throws to push NYIT ahead one with :25 seconds left. Vincent Johnson scored a basket with under three seconds remaining to give STAC a one point lead. The Bears took the ball out quickly and made a long outlet pass to Arthur Braswell who was fouled with less then a second on the clock. Braswell made the first to tie the game, 75-75 but missed the second sending the game into a fourth overtime.
In the final period NYIT had a five point lead with 1:02 left on the clock before Jason Holloway drained a three from the corner to bring STAC within two. Clarke made one free throw for the Bears pushing the lead back to three with :17 seconds left. Williams hit his fourth three of the night to tie the game for the thirteenth time, 86-86. However a foul was called on the other end of the court with 2.7 seconds left in the game. Clarke stepped up and made the final two free throws to give NYIT an 88-86 advantage. The Spartans threw an inbounds pass the length of the court that was intercepted by NYIT but there was a travel called on the play giving STAC a final possession. James shot a long three at the buzzer that hit off the rim ending the game in favor of the Bears. Jarrell Walker led the Bears with 30 points and 16 rebounds while Benny Flores added 14.
The Spartans will play the rest of the week at home as they face top seeded Bridgeport on Wednesday at 7:30 before hosting Queens College for a 3:00 game on Saturday.