Men’s basketball outlasts Dominican in triple overtime thriller, 98-95

Men’s basketball outlasts Dominican in triple overtime thriller, 98-95

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team battled with Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) foe Dominican (N.Y.) for 55 minutes in the Gallagher Center Thursday night and was able to come out on top 98-95 in triple overtime.

Senior guard Jim Connolly (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton Area) was the leader for Philadelphia (15-7, 10-3 CACC) as he scored 21 of his team-high 30 points in the overtime sessions. He was a perfect 16-for-16 in the contest, including 8-for-8 in the second extra session.

Junior guard Nick Christian (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) tied a career-high with 21 points and nine rebounds. His biggest play came with a half-second left in the first overtime as he buried a wide-open look at a three-pointer from the left wing to tie the score at 77 and send the game to a second overtime.

Freshman guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) recorded 19 points and tied his career-high in rebounds with eight. Sophomore guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) ended the night with 12 points and a career-best 14 rebounds. Freshman forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) added 13 points and nine rebounds.

This is the longest game the Rams have played since falling to the College of Saint Rose 85-75 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 15, 2008.

Leon Porter led the Chargers (19-5, 13-3 CACC) with a game-high 33 points, 20 coming after the conclusion of regulation, and seven assists. He was responsible for sending the game to overtime and making a three-pointer with 11 seconds left in regulation to knot the game at 61.

Porter opened the scoring in the third overtime as he drained a three-pointer to make the score 90-87. Connolly responded with a pair of treys of his own to give the home team a 93-90 lead with 2:26 still on the clock.

After a Tyler Stradford tip-in cut the margin to one, Connolly and Alexis each went to the free throw line and buried two free throws each to give the Rams a 97-92 advantage, tying the largest lead by either team during the overtimes, with seven seconds left. Dominican's A.J. Burton hit a three-pointer to make it a one possession game (97-95).

Alexis hit one free throw at the one second mark, and Philadelphia survived at Porter's three-quarter court heave hit the right side of the backboard.

In the second overtime, Connolly gave Philadelphia an 84-79 lead as he hit five straight free throws. Porter brought the Chargers back with a game-tying triple (85-85) with 51 seconds left. The second overtime ended at 87-all as Christian nailed a basket and Porter drained two free throws in the final 12 seconds.

The Rams overcame a 70-66 deficit with 2:01 on the clock in the first overtime. Philadelphia pulled within one twice, but wasn't able to regain the lead.

Philadelphia opened the contest with a Schlitzer three-pointer and would remain in front, leading by as many as 20 (35-15), until Burton hit a three-pointer at the 12:11 mark of the second half to give the Chargers a 46-44 lead.

The Rams shot 40.0 percent (30-of-75) from the field and 82.9 percent (29-of-35) from the charity stripe. Dominican connected on 45.3 percent (34-of-75) of its field goal attempts, and 75.0 percent (15-of-20) of its free throws.

Philadelphia dominated the glass as it grabbed a season-high 55 rebounds, 22 on the offensive end, and held Dominican to 35.

The Rams cap off their three-game week with a trip to Bronxville, N.Y. to take on Concordia (N.Y.) in a CACC battle on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m.