|University of Southern Maine||Wheaton College|
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Senior James Starks III (Miami, Fla./Miami Killian Senior) hit the go-ahead layup with 58 seconds left in the fifth overtime and freshman James Lathrop (Tucson, Ariz./Messalonskee) nailed a three-pointer with 17 seconds to play to help deliver the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 131-125 five overtime win over the Wheaton College (Mass.) Lyons in the consolation game of the 2016 Herb Kenny Tip Off Tournament hosted by Wesleyan at Silloway Gymnasium
With the win, Southern Maine improves to 2-1 overall. Wheaton College drops its second straight game to stand at 1-2. The Huskies 131 points in the game is a new school record, besting the previous total of 124 points set in a 124-74 win over Plymouth State on February 5, 1979. The five overtimes played is also the most played by a Southern Maine men’s basketball team.
Starks finished with 30 points to pace six Huskies in double figures and lead all scorers. Starks was 9-for-20 from the field, grabbed 18 rebounds and had five blocked shots. Senior Zach Leal (York, Maine) was 7-for-15 from the field with 21 points and four assists, while junior Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) scored all 17 of his points in the second half. Seniors Jacob Littlefield (Mechanic Falls, Maine/Poland) and Jalen Lincoln (Nobleboro, Maine/Lincoln Academy) each scored 15 points, while sophomore Kevin Weisser (Windham, Maine) tossed in 13 points.
Senior Timothy Berry (Sterling,Mass./St. Peter Marian) led the Lyons with 27 points as one of three Wheaton players to reach 20 points. Junior Ryan Fogarty (Walpole, Mass.) tossed in 22 points, while sophomore Duaka Ekwensi (Morris Plains, N.J./St. Andrew’s) added 20 points and nine points. Senior Quinton Dale (Winthrop, Mass./Taft School) posted a double-double with 16 points, 18 rebounds, five blocked shots and four assists. Junior Liam Bruno (Newton, Mass./Newton North) and sophomore Matt Allegrezza (Westwood, Mass.) scored 13 and 10 points respectively off of the bench.
In a closely contested contest, the Huskies and the Lyons were knotted up at 70 with 5:05 remaining in regulation. McCue hit the first of three consecutive three pointers to put USM up 70-68 with 5:28 to go before Dale converted a layup to set up a dramatic final five minutes. USM and Wheaton battled back and forth, exchanging the lead twice with neither team leading by more than two possessions. A pair of free throws from McCue with 17 seconds remaining gave USM an 84-81 lead, but the Lyons’ Fogarty sank a game-tying three as time expired to send the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, Fogarty put the Lyons up by three 92-89 with 1:17 on the clock, but Starks hit a three with less than a minute to go to end the scoring sending the game into double overtime with the score at 92 all. Trailing 104-101 in the second overtime, Southern Maine again extended the game when sophomore Byron McMillian (Washington, DC/Takoma Academy) drained a three with five seconds left forcing the third overtime of the game. In the third overtime, Wheaton again led late, 111-109 on a jumper from Liam Bruno with 1:05 on clock. After a wasted offensive possession, Southern Maine was able to regain possession on a steal from Littlefield, and then went on to tie the game at 111 on a layup from junior Cam Scott (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy). Wheaton had a look at the basket in the final seconds but failed to convert.
In the fourth overtime, USM went ahead 120-117 on a three from Littlefield with 1:46. Southern Maine remained in front with 24 seconds to play on one of two free throws from Starks, but this time Fogarty extended the game for the Lyons knocking down two free throws with 16 seconds to play.
In the final overtime, USM used 6-0 run in the final minute to secure the win. Tied at 125 after a jumper from Fogarty, the Huskies’ Starks hit a layup and Lathrop canned a three to make with 130-125 with 17 seconds to play. Wheaton missed a three on its final possession and Starks cleared the boards before being fouled to secure the win. Starks hit one of two free throws for the 131-125 final.