Mr. Clutch-Jim Connolly Gives PhilaU 89-85 OT Win in NCAA East Regionals

Jim Connolly
Jim Connolly

Easton, MA- For the first time since 2001, Herb Magee's #4 seeded PhilaU Rams (26-7, 16-1 CACC) have an NCAA win- this one an 89-85 overtime win over the #5 St. Anselm College Hawks (20-11, 14-8 NE-10) on Saturday night in the NCAA East Regional Tournament at Stonehill College's Merkhert Gym.  

PhilaU now advances to face #1 seed and host Stonehill College at 7:30  p.m. on Sunday (3/14) night.  

The Rams, looking for their first NCAA win since 2001, which came ironically over St. A's 90-77, led 41-32 at the half.  PhilaU freshman guard Jim Connolly (Harleysville, PA/ Souderton) led the Rams with 28 points (8-10 from three-point range).  

PhilaU mounted a 13-7 run to open the second period, riding to a 48-45 score at the 15:52 mark.   Connolly knocked down a trey at 13:03 to get within two (52-50) then tied it at 54 apiece at 11:21.  

The Hawks came back with a couple of three-balls to event the keel at 62-62 with 7:42 on the clock, led by Greg Vetrano's game-high 29 points. 

Tied at 74-74, PhilaU senior guard Marcus Lemon (Alexandria, VA/ T.C. Williams) had a chance to win it with mere seconds remaining, but missed to send the contest into OT.  Ram senior forward Malcolm Ingram (Philadelphia, PA/ Solebury Prep) went 4-4 at the charity stripe down the stretch to seal the deal for PhilaU.  Ingram had 18 points and 10 boards on the night.  

In the extra period, PhilaU senior guard Russell Frederick (Baltimore, MD/ Calvert Hall) converted on a three-point play to put PhilaU up 82-81.  Frederick added 26 points for the Rams.  Connolly made it official with yet another trey with 22 seconds to send the Rams into the NCAA East Regional semifinals.