PAXTON, Mass.—The Anna Maria College men's basketball team overcame a 20-point first-half deficit to down the Hawks of Becker College 95-93 in overtime in Wednesday's non-conference contest.
With the win, the AMCATS improve to 2-1, while the loss drops the Hawks to 0-2.
The win snaps a five-game losing streak to the Hawks dating back to the 2010 -11 season. Prior to tonight, the AMCATS' last victory in the annual series was in 2009.
Graduate student Corey Pryor (Whitinsville, Mass.) scored a game-high 28 points off the bench for the AMCATS, shooting 12-for-18 from the floor and 3-for-6 from three-point range. Pryor had a crucial play in the early minutes of overtime. With the AMCATS trailing by three, he finished an old-fashioned three-point play to even the score at 85-85.
Senior guard Tyler Delorey (Worcester, Mass.) chipped in with 21 points on a 9-for-13 effort, while classmate Patrick Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.) added 16 points and a game-high seven assists.
Kyle Credle (Queens, N.Y.) scored 25 points for the hosts on an 8-for-16 effort from the floor. He was one of five Becker players to score in double figures, followed by Nafis Streeter (Philadelphia, Pa.) with 18 points, Khairi Mosley (Elizabeth, N.J.) with 16 points, Reginald Finney (Ansonia, Conn.) with 14 points, and Samuel Durodola (Rosedale, N.Y.) with 12 points.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Anna Maria trailed by 21 points with just over two minutes left to play in the first half and trailed by 16 at halftime, but began chipping away at the lead in the early minutes of the second frame. The hosts used a 9-2 run in the opening five minutes to cut Becker's lead to single digits. Following a Becker bucket, the AMCATS were able to overcome the 10-point deficit and take a two-point lead on a layup and foul shot by Delorey at the 9:06 mark.
The two teams exchanged 15 lead changes or ties over the final 8:28 of regulation as neither team could take control. With the score knotted at 85-85 and possession in Anna Maria's hands following a Becker turnover, the AMCATS had two chances to score by a Pryor layup attempt and a Delorey three-pointer were both off the mark.
The Hawks went up by three in the early seconds of overtime but Anna Maria took the lead midway through the five-minute frame. The AMCATS relinquished control of the scoreboard only once, as a jumper by Rashaun Liggon (Elizabeth, N.J.) at the 1:54 mark tied the score at 89-89. Bradanese answered with a bucket to put the AMCATS back on top at the 1:28 mark and Anna Maria got a defensive board on Becker's next trip to help kill some clock, forcing Becker to foul for possession. The AMCATS buried three free-throws to take a five-point lead, eventually giving Becker three points but holding on for the 95-93 victory.
After being outscored 51-39 in the first half, the AMCATS held a 56-42 scoring advantage over the second half and overtime. Anna Maria shot 56.5 percent from the floor (39-69) and hit 7-of-19 (36.8 percent) from three-point range.
The Hawks hit 33-of-66 from the floor (50 percent) and matched the AMCATS with seven three-pointers. The biggest difference in the night game from the free-throw line, where Becker finished 20-34, while the AMCATS made just 15 trips to the line and buried 10.
Becker edged the AMCATS 39-37 in rebounds.
Anna Maria returns to action on Monday when they travel to No.5 Amherst for a 6:00 p.m. game. Becker will host Fitchburg State on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.