MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – Host Morrisville State College men's basketball battled in a back and forth affair with Route 20 Rival Cazenovia College, but the Wildcats were able to pull away with the win in the second overtime period in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) thriller Wednesday night in Morrisville.
The loss drops the Mustangs to 11-8 on the season, 9-2 in NEAC action. Cazenovia improves to 5-14, 4-6 within conference play.
Three posted double figures for Morrisville State, led by sophomore forward Kevin Dennis (Bronx, N.Y.) who had a hard earned 24 points and 18 rebounds in the post. Tyrin Miller (White Plains, N.Y.) added 18, while teammate Brison Hall (Syracuse, N.Y.) came off the bench to collect 14, also snagging eight rebounds.
Kyle Peck's (Oneida, N.Y.) efforts on the glass assisted the Mustangs in claiming the advantage over Cazenovia, 59-40, as he grabbed 16 boards, nine on the offensive glass alone while adding three assists and three steals to his tallies.
Cazenovia had five net double figures, including Jaceary Menes who posted a team high 20. Will Thompson added 18 to go along with his six rebounds, while Raishun Richardson, Nicholas Filippi and Trvon Balaam added 13, 12, and 10, respectively.
The Wildcats held a four-point lead with just 17 seconds remaining in regulation as Menes converted a free throw, but a three by Hall with six seconds remaining brought the Mustangs within one.
Menes added two more with five seconds showing on the clock for the 71-68 lead, but Hall quickly moved the ball up the court and drained the buzzer beater from the left wing to send the game into overtime knotted at 71.
Cazenovia again regained the lead in the overtime period, and held the six point lead with 1:06 to go, but a three point play from Dennis with 38 seconds remaining cut the deficit to three for the Mustangs.
The visitors had plenty of opportunities to put the game away, as did the Mustangs to even the score, but it wasn't until the final seconds that a three by Miller landed into the hands of Peck who raced out to the right wing and launched a second buzzer beater for the hosts to force another extra frame.
Both offenses went cold in the second overtime period, until the 1:03 mark when a layup from Hall gave Morrisville State the one point lead. Menes regained the advantage for the Wildcats with a layup on the ensuing Cazenovia possession, and Richardson added two free throws with 13 seconds to go for the three-point cushion.
Peck converted both free throw opportunities for the Mustangs with eight seconds showing on the clock, making it an 86-85 game in favor of Cazenovia, and a battle that was won from the free throw line down the stretch as Balaam and Menes each hit both opportunities from the charity stripe to collect the win.
Morrisville State returns to the court Saturday hosting Gallaudet University at 1 p.m.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.