BROOKLINE, Mass. – Elms College junior guard Andre French (Torrington, Conn.) scored a game-high 26 points and sophomore forward Isaiah Odulami (Providence, R.I.) hit a three-pointer with one second left in overtime, but it was not enough as Newbury College held on for a thrilling 75-74 overtime victory in Saturday afternoon's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) men's basketball game at Hellenic College.
With the loss, Elms slips to 12-8 on the season, 7-4 in NECC play, while Newbury improves to 8-13 overall, 5-7 in league action.
After posting a 41-29 lead at halftime behind 41.2-percent shooting from the field and an 11-point effort from French who canned three of six from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes, Elms watched its advantage dwindle over the course of the second half and shot just 21.2-percent in the second frame.
Clinging to a 56-55 lead with 6:09 to play in regulation Elms saw its lead vanish for the first time in the contest when Tim Young (Brockton, Mass.) buried a trey at the 5:15 mark to give Newbury a 58-56 lead. Young again dialed up a score from long distance with just under three minutes to play in regulation to give the Nighthawks a 61-58 advantage.
Elms' senior guard Bryant Corcoran (Waterbury, Conn.) delivered a layup with 2:38 to play and following as missed shot on Newbury's ensuing possession, French swished a trey with 2:11 to play to even the game at 61-61. From there, neither team was able to score the go-ahead basket forcing an extra stanza of play.
In overtime, Steve Rosemond (Everett, Mass.) netted a trey and following a foul shot by French, Cameron Owen (Concord, N.H.) fired in his second triple of the contest to give Newbury a 67-62 lead with 3:49 to play in overtime.
French responded with his seventh strike from long range and Corcoran added a jumper to tie the game at 67-67 with 2:21 to play. Corcoran then hauled in an offensive rebound following a missed jumper by French to give Elms its first lead of extra time at 69-67 with 1:22 on the clock.
Twenty seconds later Rosemond canned a trey and Young drilled a triple of his own with 38 seconds to play to give the Nighthawks a 73-69 advantage.
Eric Watson (New Rochelle, N.Y.) put Newbury up six with a layup with 23 ticks remaining before French was fouled on a three-point attempt with five seconds left. French hit two of the three free throws and Elms immediately fouled to send the Nighthawks to the stripe. Following a miss on the one-and-one attempt, Odunlami corralled the rebound and heaved a long trey but it was not enough as Newbury came away with a thrilling 75-74 win.
Corcoran finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, while junior guard Charles Bason (Riverdale, Md.) added eight points.
Junior forward David McDaniel (Plainfield, N.J.) hauled in a team-high 11 rebounds and passed out eight assists, while French and Corcoran added eight boards each. Odunlami led the team with seven points off the bench.
Watson scored a team-high 19 points to lead three players off the Newbury bench who scored in double figures Young added 17 points and Rosemond netted 14, while Jason Marshall (Fairburn, Ga.) was the Nighthawks' lone starter to score in double digits with 13 points in addition to securing a game-best 12 rebounds as Newbury's bench out-scored the Blazers' reserves 50-15.
Elms returns to NECC action when it travels to Leicester, Mass. to square off against Becker College on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m.